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You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  Italy: Mergellina: 'Tomb of Virgil'. View of the so-called Tomb of Virgil at Mergellina in its landscape setting. In the background is a pathway and steps, leading to Posilippo.
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image Adam vol.57/21

Reference number

Adam vol.57/21

Purpose

Italy: Mergellina: 'Tomb of Virgil'. View of the so-called Tomb of Virgil at Mergellina in its landscape setting. In the background is a pathway and steps, leading to Posilippo.

Aspect

Perspective

Inscribed

Inscribed in pencil in a contemporary hand Virgile Napole; in ink 21

Signed and dated

Undated, probably April 1755.

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, brown, blue and grey washes205 x 293

Hand

Robert Adam

Notes

This is Robert Adam's version of the drawing of Virgil's Tomb by Charles-Louis Clérisseau in Adam vol.57/16, and is the more prosaic, albeit more honest, version. Adam has not shown the distant prospect over the bay at Posilippo that gave Clérisseau's drawing both depth and greater interest. A plan and description of the tomb is given in Paoli, Avanzi Delle Antichita Esistenti a Pozzuoli Cuma e Baja, Naples, 1768, pl.X. Adam wrote from Naples on 8 April 1755 that he had seen the 'Tomb of Virgil' and its antiquity 'induced me to make several sketches of it' (National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, Clerk of Penicuik Collection, GD18/4769); this drawing is presumably one of these sketches.

Level

Drawing

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Sir John Soane's collection includes some 30,000 architectural, design and topographical drawings which is a very important resource for scholars worldwide. His was the first architect’s collection to attempt to preserve the best in design for the architectural profession in the future, and it did so by assembling as exemplars surviving drawings by great Renaissance masters and by the leading architects in Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries and his near contemporaries such as Sir William Chambers, Robert Adam and George Dance the Younger. These drawings sit side by side with 9,000 drawings in Soane’s own hand or those of the pupils in his office, covering his early work as a student, his time in Italy and the drawings produced in the course of his architectural practice from 1780 until the 1830s.

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