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  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Roman ruins, possibly the Colosseum; a wall overgrown with vegetation, with arches and rectangular openings above; formerly in the 1637 album containing 279 miscellaneous drawings. c.1593 Pen and brown ink with brown wash

  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1593 (c.)
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 154 millimetres
    • Width: 215 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Verso inscribed illegibly, in pen and brown ink: "[]affa" (?). A schematic symbol (a crowned sun) has been drawing in pen and ink at the centre of the verso.
  • Curator's comments

    Formerly described as anonymous by Popham, this drawing was subsequently attributed to Jan Brueghel the Elder and Pieter Schoubroeck (by Martin Royalton-Kisch) before being given its present attribution to Jan Breughel the Elder again.
    Very similar drawings, showing Roman ruins (possibly showing the Colosseum) and executed in the same loose style and with the same application of the wash, are signed and inscribed by Jan Brueghel. Two sheets in the Museum Boijmans-Van Beuningen (inv.nos.3-4) are authentically inscribed "Roma" and "1593" or "1595". A third drawing in the Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin (, bought at Sotheby's, 26 November 1970) is signed "Brueghel". A drawing by Schoubroeck, signed and dated 1595, in the Fondation Custodia in Paris shows some similarities with these works by Bruegel; see K.G. Boon, 'L'époque de Lucas de Leyde et Pierre Bruegel', Florence-Paris, 1980-1981, and K.G. Boon, 'The Netherlandish and German Drawings of the XVth and XVIth centuries of the Frits Lugt Collection, Paris, 1992, Schoubroeck's paintings, however, feature italianised ruined buildings, rather than existing Roman ruins.

    Literature: M. Winner, 'Zeichnungen des Älteren Jan Brueghel', in Jahrbuch der Berliner Museen 3 (1961), Berlin, 1961, p.195, figs.5a-b (Rotterdam drawings); M. Winner, 'Neubestimmtes und unbestimmtes im zeichnerischen Werk von Jan Brueghel d. Ä.', in Jahrbuch der Berliner Museen 14 (1972), Berlin, 1972, pp.122-124, fig.1 (Berlin drawing); M. Winner, in 'Pieter Breughel d. Ä. als Zeichner', Kupferstichkabinett Berlin, 1975, (Berlin drawing; with a discussion of the related drawings; the BM sheet is not mentioned but it might have been overlooked as it was kept with the anonymous unmounted drawings at that time).


  • Bibliography

    • Popham (D & F) 1932 40 (as 'Anonymous Unmounted Drawings') bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (Flemish Roy XVIIc)

  • Associated places

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • T,10.146
Roman ruins; a wall overgrown with vegetation, with arches and rectangular openings above Pen and brown ink, with brown wash


Roman ruins; a wall overgrown with vegetation, with arches and rectangular openings above Pen and brown ink, with brown wash

Image description



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Object reference number: PDO12408

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