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Bill Thayer

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This webpage reproduces a note in the
Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs
Vol. 42, No. 239 (Feb. 1923), p107

Thomas Ashby died in 1931: the text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though, please let me know!

p107 The Vasari Society

Sir,— The identification of the first of the two drawings by Gaspar Dughet reproduced by the Vasari Society (Ser. II, Part III, No. 16), with the entrance to the garden of the Soderini family in the Mausoleum of Augustus, is fairly easy (see Figs. 83, 84, in Topographical Study in Rome in 1581: a series of views by Etienne Du Pérac (1916), edited by me for the Roxburghe Club). But there has been a change in the antiquities represented. The colossal head and the two female statues are still there:1 but the Sarcophagus is a different one. Instead of the Endymion Sarcophagus (easily recognizable in Pl. 36 of Du Pérac's Vestigi, though less so in his drawing), which Aldrovandi (Statue Antiche, p200) called "trionfo di Amore," which is now in the Palazzo Doria (Robert, Sarkophagreliefs III, Pl. XX, Fig. 77, and p92), we see a far simpler one, with the bust of the deceased in an oval between wavy lines, and a griffin at one end (and no doubt at the other, which is not seen in the drawing). This change is interesting, as it may give us some idea as to the date of the drawing. The Endymion Sarcophagus was still where Aldrovandi and Du Pérac saw it early in the eighteenth century, when it was drawn by one of Cassiano dal Pozzo's draughtsmen (Windsor, Vol. XVIII, 89, LXV, 8082); but it was probably moved before or during the erection of the Casino of the Villa Pamphili-Doria (1644‑52), for the decoration of which Camillo Pamphili collected a large quantity of ancient sculptures. And we may therefore put the drawing (say) somewhere between 1635 and 1645 or 1650. —

Yours faithfully,

Thomas Ashby.

The Author's Note:

1 They have not yet been identified (Solomon Reinach, L'album de Pierre Jacques, p50).

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Page updated: 24 Apr 09