The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of February 20, 2024

The Pyramid of Cestius, Rome

The Pyramid of Cestius, Rome

c. 1650–80
Location: not on view

Did You Know?

The Pyramid of Cestius was constructed in Rome as a tomb in 12 BC during a fad for Egyptian things just a few years after Rome had conquered Cleopatra’s Egypt (30 BC).


The Dutch artist Michiel Van Overbeek drew The Pyramid of Cestius, Rome from southwest of the site, looking toward the 12 BC Pyramid of Cestius, and the 3rd- to 4th-century Porta Ostiensis (Porta Santo Paulo). The Egyptian structure in the Roman countryside attracted many tourists, and artists, for its singularity within the Roman architectural landscape. The careful attention given to the rise of the land at left, with small abodes tucked into the hills, and the crumbling ruin at the right, suggest that Van Overbeek wanted to record the scene as accurately as possible.
  • ?-1854?
    Possibly with Samuel Woodburn, London; his sale, Christie's London, June 16, 1854, lot 115, "M. Van Overbeck / Views of the principal buildings in Rome--a set of ten."
    January 14, 1969
    (Mak van Waay, Netherlands)
    May 13, 1972
    Herbert Lark
    Private Collection, Southwest England
    (P. & D. Colnaghi, London, England)
    (Nonesuch Gallery, London, England)
    September 13, 2021-
    The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • P. & D. Colnaghi & Co. Art in Seventeenth Century Italy. Colnaghi & Co's Galleries. Catalogues. 1972. London: P. & D. Colnaghi, 1972. Cat. no. 164, ill. plate LIX
  • Art in XVII Century Italy. P. & D. Colnaghi, London, England (April 13-May 13, 1972).
  • {{cite web|title=The Pyramid of Cestius, Rome|url=false|author=Michiel van Overbeek|year=c. 1650–80|access-date=20 February 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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