10.9 x 48.3 cm (4 5/16 x 19 inches)
Museum Works of Art Fund
In this drawing, the Greek god Apollo courses through the sky on a chariot supported by clouds. He is surrounded by the Hours, Greek goddesses of the seasons. The strong horizontal composition and modeling of the figures evoke Greco-Roman friezes carved in shallow relief, making the image quintessentially Neoclassical. A chief supporter of Neoclassicism in Britain was the Scottish architect Robert Adam. This drawing by the Florentine artist Cipriani is a preparatory study for a painted panel that was part of Adam’s decorative scheme for the library at Audley End, the home of the English nobleman John Griffin. Like Camillo Pacetti, who modeled the Wedgwood plaque above, Cipriani was one of a number of Italians engaged to produce work for artists, craftspeople, and patrons based in Britain at the end of the 1700s.