Mithridates IV, King of Pontus on the Black Sea, was a king of Persian origin, who claimed descent from King Darius the Great. Mithridates was one of Rome's most formidable and successful enemies. The bronze 'krater' urn depicted in these drawings dates from 163-120 BC, and was given to supporters in Greece early in his reign. During the First Mithradatic War this krater was plundered by Sulla and taken to Rome. Two hundred years later it was in the personal collection of Nero and was discovered in Nero's Villa in Anzio in the 18th century. It is now in the Capitoline Museum in Rome.
The Lucchese architect Lorenzo Nottolini (1787-1851) studied in Florence at the Accademia of Belle Arti, where he met Antonio Canova, and in Rome at the Accademia of San Luca. The time spent in Rome from 1817 onwards strongly influenced his style towards neo-classicism. His most celebrated works are the Piazza dell'Anfiteatro and the Great Aqueduct in Lucca.