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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

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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