|Method||Etching with engraving|
|Published||Rossini dis. e inc. Roma 1820|
|Dimensions||Image 531 x 432 mm, Plate 547 x 445 mm, Sheet 734 x 522 mm|
Plate 20 from Le Antichita Romane, ossia Raccolta della piu interessanti Vedute di Roma Antica, depicting the Temple of Mars Ultor ('the Avenger') and one of two triumphal arches built into the wall of the Forum of Augustus.
The Forum of Augustus was built as part of the redevelopment of the Roman Capital following Octavian's victory at the Battle of Actium. Over the previous centuries the Roman Forum had become cluttered with various public buildings and the expanding city required more civic space. The Temple of Avenging Mars also changed the path that triumphing generals took through the city, with the processions now ending at a temple to the Julian clan rather than the Republican temple to Jupiter Optimus Maximus. The triumphal arch to the right of the temple was built by Tiberius in AD 19. Its title in Rossini's engraving, Arco de'Pantani (Arch of the Fens) refers to the swampy alluvial soil that had covered much of the Imperial Fora.
Le Antichita Romane, ossia Raccolta della piu interessanti Vedute di Roma Antica was Rossini's largest series of engravings, and the most popular with his clients. The 101 plates of views of the remains of Ancient Rome were completed between 1819 and 1823. The influence of Piranesi and the other great etchers of the 18th century is immediately apparent when looking at Rossini's work. In some cases, Rossini's perspectives match almost exactly those executed by Piranesi in the previous century, with an equal attention to architectural detail. As a result, the viewer is provided with a fascinating record of the changes wrought on Rome's most famous monuments in the time between the two artists.
Luigi Rossini (1790-1857) was an Italian painter and etcher. Born in Ravenna, he studied art and architecture at the Academy of Bologna with Antonio Giuseppe Basoli and Giovanni Antonio Antolini. He graduated in 1813. Similarly to Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Rossini is best known for etchings of classical Roman architecture including the Pantheon, the Colosseum, the Appian Way, the Temple of Peace, and the Golden House of Nero. Rossini was also influenced by more rural settings, and produced etchings of the landscape surrounding Rome. His first series of views were published in 1814. He began his Roman antiquities series in 1819, completing 101 large folio plates which were published in Rome in 1825.
Condition: Excellent clean impression. Light staining to edges of sheet, not affecting plate or image. 'T.20' inscribed to bottom right of plate.