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image M138

A Roman corinthian capital from the Emperor Hadrian's villa at Tivoli

117-138 AD

Luna marble

Height: 58cm
Width (top front, corner to corner): 70cm

Museum number: M138

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 46help-vermeule-catalogue-number

Curatorial note

The lower ring of enrichment on this capital is arranged as on the other capital from Villa Adriana in Soane's collection (M137/Vermeule 45). On this one, however, there are no volutes but in their place are pairs of cauliculi which were probably united in coupled or interpenetrating helices. The central part of each face below the abacus is in principal arranged as in M137, but there are several variations in arrangement of tendrils and rosettes.

This capital is from the Peristyle Court of Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli (Villa Adriana), and related to the examples from the same general area cited in the entry for M1371.

The Hadrianic dating on a comparative basis seems secured by a number of parallels discussed as illustrative of this period by Ronczewski2. A close stylistic comparison, however, is afforded by a capital from the Palatine which is now in the Antiquarium of that site3 which might lead us to look for Hadrianic work in that area.

1 Compare also Gusman, Villa Hadriana, p. 238 f., esp. fig. 355. For general literature on the Villa Hadriana, see Vermeule 45 (M137).
2 Arch. Anz., 1933, cols. 408 ff., esp. figs. 4f.
3 Phot. Alinari no. 17370, Museo delle Terme. Note that Vermeule's catalogue entry includng this ref to the Antiquarium was drawn up in the 1970s.

Provenance help-art-provenance

Rome: said to have come from Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli. Rome; collected in Rome by Charles Heathcote Tatham for the architect Henry Holland during the 1790s. See Cornelius Vermeule, unpublished Catalogue of the Antiquities at Sir John Soane's Museum, Introduction.


Tatham: Etchings, 8; Drawings, 7.
Soane, Description, 1835, p.35.

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk