The Pyramid of Cestius, Rome

Michiel van Overbeek (Dutch, active 1663-1709)c. 1650–80

The Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland, United States

The Dutch artist Michiel Van Overbeek drew <em>The Pyramid of Cestius, Rome</em> from southwest of the site, looking toward the 12 BC Pyramid of Cestius, and the 3rd- to 4th-century <em>Porta Ostiensis </em>(Porta Santo Paulo). The Egyptian structure in the Roman countryside attracted many tourists, and artists, for its singularity within the Roman architectural landscape. The careful attention given to the rise of the land at left, with small abodes tucked into the hills, and the crumbling ruin at the right, suggest that Van Overbeek wanted to record the scene as accurately as possible.

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  • Title: The Pyramid of Cestius, Rome
  • Creator: Michiel van Overbeek (Dutch, active 1663-1709)
  • Date Created: c. 1650–80
  • Physical Dimensions: Image: 9.9 x 19.9 cm (3 7/8 x 7 13/16 in.)
  • Provenance: (Mak van Waay, Netherlands), Herbert Lark, Private Collection, Southwest England, (P. & D. Colnaghi, London, England), (Nonesuch Gallery, London, England), The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Type: Drawing
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/2021.144
  • Medium: Pen and brown ink with red chalk on brown prepared paper
  • Inscriptions: Inscribed u.m. Sepulchre Cesty, initialled l.r. M.V.O. del[?]
  • Fun Fact: The Pyramid of Cestius was constructed in Rome as a tomb in 12 BC during a fad for Egyptian things just a few years after Rome had conquered Cleopatra’s Egypt (30 BC).
  • Department: Drawings
  • Culture: Netherlands
  • Credit Line: Mr. and Mrs. Richard W. Whitehill Art Purchase Endowment Fund
  • Collection: DR - Dutch
  • Accession Number: 2021.144

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