Valentina Rubechini

"e antiquities of Rome in the drawings by Giovanni Domenico Campiglia for Richard Topham

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The article examines the drawings of rich and influential Roman families' finds by Giovanni Domenico Campiglia for Richard Thopam, and analyses the concept of 'ancient' that the artist had in the first stages of his career, when he made over six hundred drawings for the English art collector. The artist reproduced a wide range of ancient finds: full-figure statues, busts, herms, bas-reliefs, altars, sculptures of animals, protomes, sarcophaguses, vases. These drawings are also important because they portray the finds in a much better state than the present one; in other cases they are the only proof that a certain piece belonged to a long-lost collection, therefore they are used as valuable evidence in the process of reconstructing the origins of a find; finally, they document restorations and help establish the preservation history of items.

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