A 1711 painting showing the Meta Sudans

There is a painting in Turin, in the Galleria Sabauda, of a view of the Colosseum and the Arch of Titus, dating from 1711, and painted by Gaspar van Wittel (Vanvitteli).  But it also shows a taller Meta Sudans than we know from the 19th century.  Here it is:

The ruined old fountain stands outside the Arch of Constantine, on the right.

H/T @romamedieval.


3 thoughts on “A 1711 painting showing the Meta Sudans

  1. Just a brief note — There’s an Eastern feast called “Protection of the Mother of God,” commemmorating a vision of Mary extending her mantle over everyone in the Church of the Blachernae, and betokening her protection of Constantinople from a particular invasion. It turns out that icons of this feast/event often show the equestrian statue of Constantine off to the left of the image.


    This one has a Russian icon, but I’m sure you can find others. Anyway, interesting historical notes.

  2. Great old painting of the Meta Sudans – so sad there is just a circular foundation left. Interestingly, Meta
    Sudans is Latin for “Pillar + Sweating”. It was the same kind of pillar used in the Circus Maximus that indicated where chariots turned. The sweating aspects is due to how water oozed through a brick and concrete core covered with marble and into a pool around the structure. It was the biggest fountain in ancient Rome. So glad you have all these precious photos of the Meta Sudans here.

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