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Watercolour - An Ancient Obelisk At Matarea, Formerly Heliopolis
  • An Ancient Obelisk At Matarea, Formerly Heliopolis
    Luigi Mayer
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An Ancient Obelisk At Matarea, Formerly Heliopolis

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    egypt (painted)

  • Date:

    1792 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Luigi Mayer (painter)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour, on laid paper

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased with the assistance of The Art Fund, the National Heritage Memorial Fund, Shell International and the Friends of the V&A

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level D, case 86, shelf SC, box 22

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Place of Origin

egypt (painted)


1792 (painted)


Luigi Mayer (painter)

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour, on laid paper

Marks and inscriptions

J H & Z


Height: 19.3 cm, Width: 29.6 cm

Historical context note

Mayer visited Egypt and Syria in 1792: see Anon, Some account of a Tour from Rome to Sicily..., 1791-2, MSS Eng. Misc. C.433-34, Bodleian Library, Oxford. This may be an on-the-spot drawing. It is related to the scene engraved in Mayer, Egypt, 1801[-04], Pl.13, aquatint titled as above, 1802 (see SP.376). Cf.from a different viewpoint, View of the Obelisk, with a portion of the village of Matarea in the vicinity of Cairo, Eyre & Hobhouse, 1983 (52). The Obelisk of Senusert is virtually all that remains of the ancient city of On (Greek Heliopolis; modern al-Matariyah).

Descriptive line

Watercolour, An Ancient Obelisk At Matarea, Formerly Heliopolis, 1792, by Luigi Mayer

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

See large group of gouche drawings by Luigi Mayer, commissioned by Robert Ainslie (1729-1812) in Adam's Country House Collections at Slane Castle, Co. Meath, catalogue of auction held on 6th October 2009, lots 517 to 542.

Subjects depicted

Cairo; Egypt; Al-Matariyah; Obelisk of Senusert



Collection code


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