late 18th Century
Design for an Edifice before a Park Wall
traces of graphite(?) underdrawing, pen &black ink, brush & grey & light brown washes.115/8 x 191/2" (296 x 494mm). signed Thomas ......... inv del 1783. a large, partial watermark is visible at the bottom of he sheet at the center. inscribed on the verso: No 8.
Perhaps this large drawing was intended as a proposed design for the back wall of a private garden. The building does not appear to be commemorative, but rather decorative, with a door embellished at either side by an attenuated, semi-nude neoclassical hermess, a pair of fountains flanked by sphinxes which spew additional water from their mouths, and above all this, a relief of frolicking sea nymphs and sea creatures. Probably the building was not meant to be entered; it need be deep enough only to house and hide the apparati that would make the fountains work. It is also possible that this drawing was one of 8 (as the verso numbering might imply) in a series of architectural garden designs which might have been engraved and used either for illustrations in a book or as wall decoration. This idea is supported by the fact that the drawing is signed and dated.