Design for a Fan: Capriccio with Roman Ruins and the Farnese Hercules

Giovanni Paolo Paninica. 1750

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
New York, United States

Semi-circular design corresponding to the shape of an open fan, illustrated with Roman ruins and statuary. Identifiable imagery includes the Farnese Hercules, the Pantheon and the lion fountain of the capital. At the top in pen and ink, a sketch for a border decoration.


  • Title: Design for a Fan: Capriccio with Roman Ruins and the Farnese Hercules
  • Creator: Giovanni Paolo Panini
  • Date Created: ca. 1750
  • Type: Drawing
  • Rights: Museum purchase through gift of various donors and from Eleanor G. Hewitt Fund
  • Medium: Pen and brown ink, brush and gray wash, graphite on cream laid paper, lined
  • Viewing Notes: This delicate drawing for a fan clusters together many of the most notable of Roman antiquity: the Column of Trajan, the Farnese Hercules and a variety of classical temples. No doubt marketed to the tourists, a fan with such a capriccio of motifs would be a conversation piece upon return to England or France.
  • Signed: Lower left in pen and gray ink: I.P.P
  • Provenance: Mrs. Edward D. BrandegeePiancastelli
  • Paper Support: White laid paper
  • Exhibitions: CHNDM - Excavating the Vocabulary of Design: 18th Century Drawings and Prints from the Permanent Collection. [Ground floor gallery], November 4, 2005 - January 8, 2008.Stuttgart, Germany - Staatsgalerie Stuttgart Graphische Sammlung. Kompositionen im Halbrund: Facherblatter aus Vier Jahrunderten. July 1 - September 2, 1984; traveled to Zurich, Switzerland - Museum bellerive, September 12 - November 4, 1984Cologne, Germany - Wallraf-Richartz Museum. Idee und Anspruch der Architektur. December 13, 1979 - January 27, 1980.Philadelphia, PA - The University of Pennsylvania Art Museum, U.of.P. The Ruins of Rome. December 15, 1960 - February 15, 196; traveled to: Detroit, MI - Detroit Institute of Arts, March 26 - May 7, 1961.
  • Dimensions: 14.1 x 26 cm (5 9/16 x 10 1/4 in.)
  • Bibliography: Kopplin, Monika,exh. cat. Kompositionen im Halbrund: Facherblatter aus Vier Jahrunderten.Stuttgardt: Staatsgalerie Stuttgart Graphische Sammlung, 1984. 58-59, no. 21

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