BetaThis search tool is in development. Find out more.

Three marble vases and a sarcophagus. Etching by G.B. Piranesi, ca. 1770.

Piranesi, Giovanni Battista, 1720-1778.
[between 1768 and 1778]


Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

You can use this work for any purpose, including commercial uses, without restriction under copyright law. You should also provide attribution to the original work, source and licence.

Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) terms and conditions

Credit: Three marble vases and a sarcophagus. Etching by G.B. Piranesi, ca. 1770. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

About this work


The central vase is carved with a priest and worshippers sacrificing the suovetaurilia (a boar, a ram and a bull), and is placed on a sarcophagus guarded by winged sphinxes. The left vase is carved with two birds eating grapes or berries, and the right one with acanthus decoration. In another state of the print, the left vase is said to be the property of the landscape painter Hugh Dean ("Vaso antico di marmo esistente in Inghilterra presso Mr. Hugh Dean pittore di paesi"), and the right one in Piranesi's collection ("Vaso antico di marmo che si vede presso l'autore")


Vaso antico di marmo ornato di bassirilievi rappresentanti il sagrifizio di suovetaurilii ed altri ornamenti allusivi al sagrifizio. Si vede in Inghilterra presso sua Mylord Holland. A, B Vasi antichi di marmo esistenti fra le altre antichità dell'autore. A sua eccellenza Miledi Maria Fox in segno d'ossequio il cavalier G.B. Piranesi. Cavalier Piranesi inc.


[Rome] : [publisher not identified], [between 1768 and 1778]

Physical description

1 print : etching ; platemark 53 x 39 cm

Publications note

John Ingamells, A dictionary of British and Irish travellers in Italy, 1701-1800 compiled from the Brinsley Ford archive, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 1997, pp. 378-379 (Mary Fox, wife of Hon. Stephen Fox, from 1774 2nd Baron Holland); p. 509 (Henry Fox, 1st Baron Holland); pp. 286-287 (Hugh Primrose Dean)


Wellcome Library no. 757006i



  • Italian

Where to find it


We’re improving the information on this page. Find out more.