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Fragment of Roman frieze(?) enrichment: a patera with a floral centre

Luna marble

Diameter: 29cm
Thickness: 6cm

Museum number: S3

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 110help-vermeule-catalogue-number

Curatorial note

Fragment of a patera with a six-petal (water lily) flower enrichment in the centre. From the size and the character of the round, raised edging, it has possibly been broken from the decoration of a frieze with sacred implements, such as a fragment in the Conservatori Gardens, Rome1, which has, however, as is usually the case, merely a boss in the centre of the patera. The most famous example of this type of frieze decoration is that from the Temple of Divus Vespasianus at the foot of the Capitoline Hill in Rome2 where the patera is much more elaborately carved than in our example.

1 The British School at Rome, Catalogue of ancient sculptures preserved in the municipal collections of Rome: The Sculptures of the Palazzo dei Conservatori, H.S. Jones, 2 vols, Oxford, 1926, p. 248, no. 94, pl. 95.
2 P. Ducati, L'Arte in Roma dalle origine al sec VIII, Bologna, 1938, pl. CX, 1; P. Gusman, L'Art décoratif de Rome de la fin de la république au IV siècle, 2 vols, Paris, 1910, II, pl. 65. Amongst the Robert Adam drawings in Soane's collection are two depictions of this famous frieze.

Provenance help-art-provenance

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 See Cornelius Vermeule, unpublished catalogue of the Antiquities at Sir John Soane's Museum, Introduction, transcription of Tatham letters, List 1, no.37.


Tatham: Etchings, frontispiece; Drawings, 4.

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