The Arch of Drusus in Rome
  • Joseph-Benoît Suvée
  • Bruges 1743 - 1807 Paris
  • The Arch of Drusus in Rome
  • Red chalk on laid paper
  • 523 × 388 mm
Private collection, Paris

After receiving a thorough education in Bruges and Paris as well as numerous other accolades, Joseph-Benoît Suvée won the coveted Prix de Rome in 1771.

At the end of the following year, he began the journey to Italy in order to work, until May 1778, as a pensioner at the French Academy in Rome. After his return, he was offered a post as a professor at the distinguished Académie Royale in Paris, and in 1792 even the position of director at the Académie de France in Rome.

Suvée accepted this honourable post at his former training grounds only in 1801, however. The Academy’s move into the Villa Medici above the Spanish Steps, where this glorious institution still resides today, occurred during his tenure.

The so-called Arch of Drusus is located directly behind the Porta San Sebastiano and spans one of the most important arterial roads of ancient Rome, the Via Appia. It was built in the 1st century CE and was actually part of the Aqua Marcia aqueduct, which supplied Caracalla’s baths with water.

We thank Anne Leclair for confirming this drawing’s attribution.