Temple of Minerva Medica, Rome

Temple of Minerva Medica, Rome

1754
Richard Wilson RA
1714–1782
Black and white chalk on moderately thick, rough, blue laid paper mounted on moderately thick, moderately textured, cream laid paper with border of moderately thick, moderately textured, cream laid paper with purple wash
Sheet: 11 5/16 x 16 9/16 inches (28.7 x 42.1 cm) Mount: 13 7/8 x 19 1/2 inches (35.2 x 49.5 cm)

The so-called Temple of Minerva Medica was one of the most famous and frequently reproduced monuments in eighteenth-century Rome. Situated close to the Porta Maggiore on agricultural land within the ancient Aurelian walls, the decagonal, domed structure was identified during the eighteenth century as a temple dedicated to Minerva the Doctor (it is more likely to have been a nymphaeum). Wilson’s sheet emphasizes the dome of the structure, which collapsed in 1828, with the facade and campanile of the church of Santa Bibiana beyond.

B1977.14.4654
Inscribed in brown ink, on sheet attached to mount, lower center: "T. of Minerva | Medica."; in black chalk, on mount, lower right: "No. 19"; in graphite, on back of mount, upper left: "7403"; on back of mount, upper right: "30"
Signed and dated in black chalk, on mount, lower left: "R. Wilson f. 1754"
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection