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Temple of the Sibyl at Tivoli

Jean Laurent Legeay was awarded the grand prix of the Académie Royale d'Architecture in 1732, which enabled him to study at the French Academy in Rome from December 1738 to January 1742. Although likely based on direct observation, the use of a low vantage point to capture the small round temple at Tivoli enhances the monumentality of the scene. Legeay had probably learned this lesson from Piranesi. Topographic views, however, were not common in Legeay’s oeuvre. He was best known as a draftsman and etcher of some of the most bizarre and exaggerated landscapes of architectural fantasies, the opposite of this drawing.

Jean Laurent Legeay
French (active in Germany), ca. 1710–1790
Temple of the Sibyl at Tivoli
ca. 1738–42
Red chalk on paper
Image: 20 5/8 x 15 15/16 in. (52.4 x 40.5 cm); sheet: 21 15/16 x 17 1/8 in. (55.7 x 43.5 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 81.63.2