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SECTION OF A CARVED TRIANGULAR PILLAR

117-138 AD
Probably Hadrianic

Italian marble

Height: 75cm
Width (one side): 22cm

Museum number: S144

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 138help-vermeule-catalogue-number

Curatorial note

On the corner of the pillar is a roll, beside which runs on each side a fillet and a cyma recta. In the centre of the flat sides runs a foliate garland of the shaft of a thyrsos with flat, overlapping leaves and berries. The upper ends of each garland are decorated with two ornamental hanging fillets.

For the type of pillar see above, Soane no.136, S142 and Amelung1. An identical triangular pillar - of same design and dimensions, perhaps from the same building as the present piece, is used, along with a somewhat different triangular pillar, to support a concave frieze in the Museo Chiaramonti2. The Vatican ensemble presents much the same effect as Soane sought to create in laying out his own Study, and in this respect we see another example of the influence of the Papal Museums on Soane's own museum organisation and decorative tastes. The fact that much of such decorative material in the Museo Chiaramonti and the magazines of the Vatican finds close parallels at Hadrian's Villa and that there are several triangular shafts with enrichment of a nature similar to this Soane example in the Antiquario of the villa site, all leads to the conclusion that this series of fragments probably derives from that source by way of the art market in Rome.

1 W. Amelung, Die Skulpturen des Vaticanischen Museums, Berlin, 1903-08, Volume 1 - 1903; volume 2 - 1908., pl. 62, etc.
2 W. Amelung, Die Skulpturen des Vaticanischen Museums, Berlin, 1903-08, Volume 1 - 1903; volume 2 - 1908., p. 654, no. D 516, pl. 69.

Provenance help-art-provenance

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 See Cornelius Vermeule, unpublished Catalogue of the Antiquities at Sir John Soane's Museum, Introduction, transcription of Tatham letters, List 2, no.67.

Literature

Tatham: Drawings, 2.


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