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The Castle of Sant' Angelo, Rome
Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
The Castle of Sant' Angelo, Rome
c.1752-53 (undated)
Black chalk on grey-blue paper
258 x 373 mm
10 1/8 x 14 11/16 in.
London 1925 (91); Manchester 1925 (9)
Paul Sandby; his sale, Christie's 2-4 May 1811 (93); Jeffrey; R.P. Roupell; Christie's 12-14 July 1887 (1357); Edward Riggall; Sotheby's 4 July 1901 (103); Herbert Horne; Sir Edward Marsh; bequeathed to the National Art Collections Fund 1953; allocated to the Ashmolean Museum.
Unsigned; no inscription
[1] Lower left corner: Paul Sandby (Lugt 2112)
The Castel Sant'Angelo was initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family. Constructed on the right bank of the Tiber from 134-139 AD, the building, once the tallest in Rome, was later used by the popes as a fortress and castle. According to legend the Archangel Michael appeared above it, sheathing his sword as a sign of the end of the plague of 590 AD. In 1753 a new statue of the archangel, visible in this drawing and executed by the Flemish sculptor Peter Anton von Verschaffelt (1710-1793), was installed on the top of the building.
E60/17A John Whessell after Wilson, Studies & Designs: Castle of St Angelo, National Museum Wales, Cardiff
E60/18A John Whessell after Wilson, Castle of St Angelo, National Museum Wales, Cardiff
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Ford 1951, p. 57 under no. 37; Brown 1982, pp. 660-61, no. 1889
The Castello Sant' Angelo from beyond the Tiber