Paul Sandby RA, The Ponte Lucano, Rome

The Ponte Lucano, Rome

Attributed to Paul Sandby RA (1730/31 - 1809)

RA Collection: Art

This view of a three-arched bridge with a small castellated tower on the left, a building on the right and a tree in the foreground, is a partial copy of Giuseppe Vasi's vignette of the Ponte Lucano, Rome, from the title page of his publication I Ponti e gli edifici sul Tevere (1754) (The bridges and buildings on the Tiber). The artist has copied Vasi's depiction of the bridge and the buildings at either end but has omitted the distinctive round tower of the Plautian family tomb which features in the centre of Vasi's composition. That the view is indeed after Vasi is confirmed, however, by the fact that the artist (Sandby or one of his pupils) depicted the tomb set next to a different bridge and landscape in the related drawing (RA 03/1546).

This drawing and the others in the group have traditionally been attributed to Paul Sandby. Given their provenance from John Yenn's collection (he knew Sandby), as well as their general style and subject-matter, some connection with Paul Sandby seems certain. However, the lack of detail and the fact that several of the drawings have been copied from prints by other artists make it more likely that they are the work of students directed by Sandby. Alternatively, he may have sketched them himself as demonstrations or as outlines for his pupils to colour.

Object details

The Ponte Lucano, Rome
Attributed to Paul Sandby RA (1730/31 - 1809)
Giuseppe Vasi (1710 - 1782)
Object type
Pencil, blue, pink and grey wash on laid paper

175 mm x 248 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
Given by Augusta Thackeray 21 June 1865

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