• The Arch of Drusus in Rome

    Artist:
    Clérisseau, Charles-Louis. 1721-1820
    Technique:
    pen and ink, brush and brown and grey wash, white
    Dimensions:
    35,5x30,1 cm

Clérisseau, Charles-Louis. 1721-1820

The Arch of Drusus in Rome

France,

Title:

The Arch of Drusus in Rome

Place:

Material:

Technique:

pen and ink, brush and brown and grey wash, white

Dimensions:

35,5x30,1 cm

Inventory Number:

ОР-11460

Comment:

Along with the depictions of such spectacular triumphal structures as the Arch of Titus or the Arch of Constantine, the artist made the drawings of more unpretentious monuments, for example, the Arch of Gallienus (cat. 93) or the ancient Arch of Drusus near Porta San Sebastiano. It was important for him to demonstrate the construction of these single span structures representing, just as the Arch of Titus, an arch and order unit as if removed from an aqueduct arcade or the arcades of the Colosseum. Clerisseau sought to record as accurately as possible the remains of the architectural decoration of monuments and to capture most faithfully the state of their preservation. As usual, the draughtsman faithfully rendered the proportions and showed most accurately the laconism of the powerful architectural design of the structure. However, Clerisseau slightly disintegrated its solidity by ‘counting’ all the travertine blocks, the outlines of each of which being traced clearly. As a result, the monument which in reality is perceived as a monolithic one, looks distorted. This single-span arch was constructed in the 2nd century to honour the outstanding military leader Drusus, who was elected consul, the younger son of Libya, a brother of Tiberius and a stepson of Emperor Augustus. Later on, the Arch of Drusus, which was located in front of Porta San Sebastiano, was used for the aqueduct support and the defence of the ancient Porta Appia. In addition to performing a military function, its inner yard served as a municipality unit in charge of taxes and control of commodities. Author's comments: Valery Shevchenko

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