Eugène Viollet-le-Duc
Record drawing of antique frieze

Record drawing of antique frieze from Trajan's Forum in Rome
Eugène Viollet-le-Duc (1814-1879)
Record drawing of antique frieze from Trajan's Forum in Rome
1837
Graphite on paper glued to card
H. 27,8; W. 66,9 cm
© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

Relevé de frise antique du forum de Trajan à Rome [Record drawing of antique frieze from Trajan's Forum in Rome]


Trajan's forum was one of the largest forums of the Roman Empire, mainly constructed at the beginning of the 2nd century AD by Apollodorus of Damascus, the architect of the Emperor Trajan (53-117). It was admired right from the start for its imposing appearance and for the major excavations it necessitated on the Capitoline Hill.

With a basilica, libraries, the famous column, a temple and porticos, the Trajan forum captivated the architects of the 19th century who were interested in the fragments found during archaeological digs at the beginning of the century. Several of these fragments had been put into museums where the students from the Villa Medici completed their research. One such fragment was this classical frieze recorded by Viollet-le-Duc and representing an element of the decoration on the entablature of the precinct wall of the temple of Trajan, exhibited at the museum of the Villa Albani.
These classical fragments were regularly studied by the architects, who were no doubt attracted by the delicacy of the sculpted foliated pattern and by the themes of happiness expressed in it: abundance, water, animals and fanciful putti.




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