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image Adam vol.57/31

Reference number

Adam vol.57/31

Purpose

Italy: Pozzuoli: Arco Felice. View of the ruined Arco Felice between Cuma and Paesani, with the remains of an aqueduct above it and a pathway below.

Aspect

Perspective

Inscribed

Inscribed in pencil in a contemporary hand Arco felicie Baia; in ink 31

Signed and dated

Undated, probably 1755.

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, grey, blue and brown washes203 x 311

Hand

Charles-Louis Clérisseau

Watermark

Pro patria

Notes

This drawing attributed to Charles-Louis Clérisseau, and that by Robert Adam in Adam vol.57/32, depict views of the Arco Felice between Cuma and the Lago del Fusaro, both drawn from almost the same spot. The composition by Clérisseau is possibly the better and more dramatic, making greater play between the constructed arch and the ruined and overgrown side walls and contrasting shadows. Both drawings may be compared with a contemporary view by Giovanni Battista Natali (1698-1765), engraved in Paoli, Avanzi Delle Antichita Esistenti a Pozzuoli Cuma e Baja, Naples, 1768, pl.XLV, which shows considerably more detail of the structure of the arch and its setting. The Arco Felice was of brick construction, 63 feet in height, and spanned a hollow with an aqueduct above; it was built in the 3rd century AD by the Emperor Diocletian.

Level

Drawing

Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

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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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