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  • Place of origin:

    Italy (Made)

  • Date:

    1713 ca. (Made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Talman, John, born 1677 - died 1726 (Artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    ink on paper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case 92, shelf D, box 60B

The drawing was part of the collection assembled by John Talman (1677-1726). Talman was the son of the celebrated architect William Talman. From about 1698 he was employed by his father to help assemble material for his extensive collection of architectural drawings, prints and books. A keen traveller, he went to the Continent twice in search of acquisitions. He visited the northern Netherlands, France, Germany and Italy, and he made numerous watercolour copies of altarpieces and churches in Rome.

Talman was back in England in 1715. He was a founder-member of the Tavern Society, London, which later became the Society of Antiquaries, and he was appointed its first director. Like his father, Talman believed in the elevating purpose of art and in the use of art collections for the public good. Although his will indicates that he had wanted his vast collection (which contained over 32,000 prints and drawings), to go to Trinity College, Cambridge, he later changed his mind and instructed that it should be sold for the benefit of his children. A portion of the collection was nonetheless given outright to the Society of Antiquaries, who acquired further items from the auction in London on 19 April 1727.

Physical description

Sketches of different elements: two towers separated by water with Latin inscription (symbol probably belonging to Ludovico Sforza); coat of arms with snake and eagle on a gold background (probably belonging to Beatrice D'Este); sketch of a vest with a cross (red velvet).

Place of Origin

Italy (Made)


1713 ca. (Made)


Talman, John, born 1677 - died 1726 (Artist)

Materials and Techniques

ink on paper

Marks and inscriptions

indication of material: red satin

'TALTEBRAIOMES plax erpor nond exaros perder '
Inside the drawing with two towers and water


Height: 161 mm approx., Length: 216 mm approx.

Historical context note

Talman was in Milan in April 1713.

Descriptive line

Drawing from an album by John Talman (1677-1726) and other artists. Antiquities and architectural details, volume II.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

See Universita' di Pisa project: "John Talman an early Eighteen Century collector of drawings"



Subjects depicted

Eagle; Coat of arms; Tower; Cross; Snake




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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