The young Hubert Robert travelled to Rome in 1754 as part of the entourage of the new French ambassador, Étienne-François de Choiseul. He remained in the city until 1765, studying antiquities and classical architecture in the company of young artists from the studio of Piranesi. The present watercolour is a splendid example of how he used his Roman drawings throughout the rest of his career as the basis for classicised capriccios. The sculptures represented here are those that Robert had seen and drawn in Rome. From left to right they include the Gaul killing himself and his wife in the Capitoline Museum, Rome; a monumental foot, perhaps intended to be the Foot of Constantine also in the Capitoline Museum; and a river god, probably the Tiber, then in the Vatican and now in the Musée du Louvre. A similar subject in oil, showing A capriccio of the statue of Marcus Aurelius with tomb robbers at work, signed and dated 1801, was sold in these Rooms on 10 July 1987, lot 143.