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Daniël Dupré (Amsterdam 1751-1817)

A view of a gate in ruins of the Aqua Claudia

inscribed ‘i./ i. Portone della Villa Mattei-/ Rovine dell’ Acque dotto dell ‘acqua Claudia, a Roma.’ and with inscription ‘g.u.’ (verso)
graphite, pen and grey ink, brown wash, fragmentary watermark Pro Patria, pen and black framing lines
18.6 x 15.4 cm

Private collection, The Netherlands.

The location of this particularly neatly executed sheet is identified by Dupré’s inscription on the verso reading ‘Portone della Villa Mattei-/ Rovine dell’ Acque dotto dell ‘acqua Claudia, a Roma.’ In the gardens surrounding the Villa Mattei (named after its owners), now known as Villa Celimontana, are scattered Roman ruins including the one prominently shown in this sheet (which still stand today). The walls, built over an ancient gate, are part of the Aqua Claudia, an ancient Roman aqueduct of almost 70 kilometers long which supplied Rome with fresh water. Dupré carefully rendered the ruined walls and its decay with uncontrolled weeds growing on top of the gate with great precision. Furthermore enlivened the scene with three figures, of which one casts a dramatic shadow caused by the blazing Roman sun. Another drawing by Dupré, now in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam shows another view in the gardens of the Villa Mattei. [1] The same ruins as shown in the present sheet, can furthermore be found in a drawing by Josephus Augustus Knip (1777- 1847), executed in circa 1809-1812, which is now in the Rijksmuseum. [2]

[1] inv. RP-T-2014-13-21.
[2] inv. RP-T-2014-14-6.

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