0094 On Sixteenth-Century Copies of the Reliefs from the Column of Trajan – Two New Drawings from an Unknown Rotulus

  • Volker Heenes (Author)
    Independent researcher, Berlin

    Volker Heenes studied Classical Archaeology, Egyptology and Ancient History in Tübingen, Perugia and Heidelberg. He received his Ph. D. from the Winckelmann-Institut at the Humboldt-University of Berlin. He has got a scholarship at the graduate school of the University of Bonn for the project "The Renaissance and its European Reception". After that he worked for several data bases like the "Census of Antique Works of Art and Architecture Known in the Renaissance" (Berlin), "Johann Joachim Winckelmann und die Antike" (Stendal) and for the “Greek Painted Pottery (Oxford). He is the author of "Antike in Bildern. Illustrationen in antiquarischen Werken des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts". Dr. Heenes currently lives as independent scholar in Berlin.

Identifiers (Article)


This article presents two recently discovered drawings of the reliefs on the Trajan's column. To put them in their proper artistic context, the drawings are compared to known examples of such reproductions of the sixteenth century. Current research questions the attribution of codex ms. 254 in the Biblioteca dell'Istituto Nazionale di Archeologia e Storia dell'Arte in Rome to Jacopo Ripanda. The two series with representations of the column's entire frieze preserved in the Biblioteca (mss. 254 and 320) are therefore considered as two different strings of transmission of a yet to be identified original, from which derive all other drawings of the reliefs on the Trajan's Column. Research directed at the contextualisation of the newly published drawings has confirmed this view. The drawings belong without doubt to one of the two strings of transmission. In addition, an archaeological examination of representational details of this depiction has resulted in the suggestion of a new date for the rotuli from a private collection in Paris.


Jacopo Ripanda, Ms. 254, Ms. 320, Trajan's Column, Dacian Wars, Giovanni Pietro Bellori, Giulio Romano, Girolamo Muziano, rotulus, Alfons Chacon