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Mario and Antonio Asprucci architectural drawings relating to the Villa Borghese in Rome and other Borghese commissions, 1786-early 1800s

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Asprucci (Mario and Antonio) architectural drawings relating to the Villa Borghese in Rome and other Borghese commissions

Scope and Content of Collection

This group of architectural drawings documents the refurbishment of the Villa Borghese on the Pincian Hill that was commissioned by Prince Marcantonio Borghese (1730-1800) and that was known until the mid-nineteenth century as the Villa Pinciana. As architect to the Borghese family, Antonio Asprucci directed the work, however the drawings shed light on the role played by his son, Mario, and Mario's use of a neoclassical vocabulary in the designs of pavilions, fountains, and other architectural elements.

Of the forty-five drawings on forty-one sheets, seventeen sheets (2012.M.12.1-2012.M.12.17) relate to designs for pavilions, realized or unrealized, in the Villa Borghese gardens. The majority of these sheets are attributed to Mario Asprucci, including one for the Temple of Aesculapius, three for the aqueduct or Acqua Felice, four presenting alternate designs for fountains overlooking the Casino dei giochi d'acqua, as well as one for the Museo Gabino.

Other drawings by Mario Asprucci, his father Antonio, and their associates, relate to other Borghese commissions. These include designs by Mario Asprucci for a rotunda (2021.M.12.24) and for farmhouses (2021.M.12.20-2021.M.12.21) and a survey by an unidentified draftsman or architect of the Borghese granary at Pratica di Mare outside of Rome (2021.M.12.33).

Three sheets (2021.M.12.39-2021.M.12.41) cannot be attributed with certainty to Mario or Antonio Asprucci nor their associates or be related to Borghese commissions.

Numerous sheets are stamped on the recto with the mark of the Italian collector Andrea Manto. Several sheets are annotated in a later hand in English.

The drawings are undated, unless noted. The titles are derived from Susanna Pasquali, Mario Asprucci: Neoclassical Architecture in Villa Borghese, 1786-1796.

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