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image P191

Angelo Campanella, engraver
After Anton Raphael Mengs
Camillo Buti (fl. late 18th century), publisher

Roman fresco from the Villa Negroni

1778

Engraving, hand coloured with gouache

Museum number: P191

Curatorial note

Wall decoration showing Venus shaking a Tree from which Cupids are falling; plate 1 of the series, dated 1778.

Soane displayed a complete series of these plates in the Breakfast Room, all with the printed inscriptions trimmed off prior to framing. The series consists of eight plates, each showing a different wall of the so-called Villa Negroni, which was excavated in Rome near the Baths of Diocletian in July 1777. The series was engraved by Angelo Campanella after drawings by Anton Raphael Mengs and Anton von Maron. The excavation was in progress when Soane was in Rome between 1778 and 1780. A view of the work in progress drawn by Thomas Jones (1742-1803) is in the Tate collection (TO3544). Jones visited the excavations in July 1777, a month after they began and described the frescoes being revealed in this ancient domestic dwelling as 'painted Ornaments much in the Chinese taste'. He visited with his friend Henry Tresham, who subsequently purchased the frescoes for the Earl of Bristol, Frederick Hervey, Soane's own early patron in Rome. For more detailed information on the frescos, see: Hetty Joyce, 'The Ancient Frescoes from the Villa Negroni and their Influence in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries', The Art Bulletin (1983): LXV,3, pp.423-440; for more information on this project, see: Steffi Roettgen (ed): 'Anton Raphael Mengs and his British Patrons', Exhibition catalogue, Kenwood House, 1993, pp.144-7. Soane owned a second impression of the series which is in Drawer 84. Set 1.

Associated objects

P158, series
P188, series
P190, series
P199, series
P200, series
P202, series
P204, series


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