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Domitian's Palace, Palatine, Rome, Cast of a corner of cornice
Domitian's Palace, Palatine, Rome, Cast of a corner of cornice

Cast of a corner of cornice, late 18th century

From: Domitian's Palace, Palatine, Rome

RA Collection: Art

On free display in The Dorfman Architecture Court

The cast shows a portion of a cornice which was found in the Aula Regia (the main public room) of the imperial palace on the Palatine Hill in Rome. The palace was commissioned by the Emperor Domitian and planned by his architect Rabirius between 81 and 92.

The Farnese family conducted excavations on their property on the Palatine in the early 18th century. Between 1745 and 1750 many of the finds were drawn by Giovanni Battista Piranesi while they were still in situ. Thereafter, some of the finer pieces were taken to the Farnese palace.

When the Farnese moved its collection to Naples, the large niches that opened on to the garden were left empty. Thus, between 1830 and 1840 Antonio Cipolla constructed two artistic assemblages or 'Trophies' from objects which had been left behind. This cast is from part of one of the two 'Farnese Trophies' which are now in the Palazzo Farnese in Rome. These assemblages were based on Piranesi's groupings of objects, some of which had been published in his Trofei di Ottaviano Augusto (1753). There are two other casts in the RA Collection taken from elements of the other Farnese Trophy, 12/2321 and 12/2298. This cast was probably made before the original was incorporated into the Trophy.

The cast's decorations include from top to bottom, cyma recta wth upright acanthus leaves, cyma reversa with downward facing acanthus leaves, cavetto with leafy palmette within a circular frame of vines, a recto with egg-and-dart, and a cavetto with leaves.

Object details

Cast of a corner of cornice
Original now in Palazzo Farnese, Rome
late 18th century
Object type
Cast Sculpture
Plaster cast

510 mm x 435 mm x 535 mm, Weight: 30 kg

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number

Associated works of art

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