The tomb of Cecilia Metella was built circa 50 BC. Cecilia Metella was the daughter of a Roman Consul, Creticus. She married the son of Crassus, a member of the first Roman Triumvirate and one of the richest men in Rome in the first century BC, but little more is know about her. The Via Labicana is an ancient road running south east from Rome.
Lear travelled to Italy in 1837 and, with the exception of two visits to England in 1841 and 1845-6, he stayed there for the next ten years. He was part of an international community of artists, and he maintained his financial independence by teaching drawing, selling his pictures, and writing two illustrated books on Italy.
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