Inscribed in ink in a contemporary hand upon the Globe is placed a saint
Signed and dated
Medium and dimensions
Pen, pencil, ink framing lines
307 x 193, three horizontal foldlines
Unidentified eighteenth-century artist, possibly George Richardson
In 1764 Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-78) began reconstruction of the 1568 church of Santa Maria del Priorato, Rome for the Knights of Malta; the building was completed in 1766. This may be a copy of the drawing in the library of the Berlin Staatliche Museum, Germany (see E. Bowron & J. Rishel, eds., Art in Rome in the Eighteenth Century, Philadelphia and London, 2000, catalogue of an exhibition at The Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 2000-2001, p.142, fig.24). Unlike the Berlin drawing, this shows no indication of St Basil being transported heavenwards. As James Adam left Rome in May 1763, this drawing may possibly be a copy of a finished drawing that was submitted to the Cardinal Rezzonico to gain the commission such as that in the Morgan Library for the ceiling vault (see J. Wilton-Ely, Piranesi as Architect and Designer, London, 1993, pl.109). This would suggest a date of 1763, and the draughtsman may possibly be George Richardson (d.c.1813), which would explain the inscription. The drawing has been folded three times, like Adam vol.26/178, which suggests postal transmission.
There is a drawing of the elevation of Santa Maria del Priorato in Adam vol.27/48.
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