|Method||Etching with engraving|
|Published||Rossini dis. e inc. Roma 1819|
|Dimensions||Image 437 x 350 mm, Plate 455 x 359 mm, Sheet 735 x 520 mm|
Inscribed below image: Questa Colonna fu' fatta escavare a proprie spese da S.E la Duchessa di Devonshire gran Amatrice, e Protettrice dell'Arti belle.
A.Gran Sostruzioni di Piedistalli di altre Colonne Trionfali.
Plate 66 from Le Antichita Romane, ossia Raccolta della piu interessanti Vedute di Roma Antica, depicting the Column of Phocas with the roof of the Curia and the dome of the Church of Santi Luca e Martina in the background. A large pedestal to the right is marked with an 'A' and described in the inscription space as the remains of a triumphal column.
The Column of Phocas was erected in AD 608 in honour of the Byzantine emperor of the same name, and was originally topped with a gold statue. The column is important as having been the last monument erected in the Roman Forum, though it is likely that both the column and its base were recycled from earlier monuments. The statue was probably torn down following Phocas' murder in AD 610. Rossini's etching is one of the first to depict the entire monument, as until the beginning of the 19th century, alluvial silt had buried the podium and its inscription completely. As Rossini explains in this plate, the excavation of the Column of Phocas was undertaken at personal expense by the Duchess of Devonshire, the 'great lover and protectoress of the Fine Arts.'
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: Good clean, strong impression. 'T.66' inscribed in bottom right.