|Method||Etching with engraving|
|Published||Rossini dis. e inc. Roma 1822|
|Dimensions||Image 355 x 440 mm, Plate 369 x 450 mm, Sheet 522 x 735 mm|
Plate 61 from Le Antichita Romane, ossia Raccolta della piu interessante Vedute di Roma Antica, depicting part of the Roman Forum, looking towards the Capitoline Hill from close to where the Rostra once stood. The Arch of Septimius Severus, the Column of Phocas, and the remains of the Temples of Saturn, and Vespasian and Titus, stand before the medieval Palazzo Senatorio. A number of figural groups, including peasant women, well-dressed nobles, and two robed monks wander under the trees in the foreground. The Column and Arch in particular illustrate the difference in ground level in the Forum between the end of the antique period and the early 19th century.
The Roman Forum was the principle social, administrative, and economic heart of the ancient capitol. The Forum valley was originally a flood plain between the Capitoline and Palatine hills, which was drained in Rome's early history. Unlike many of the planned Fora built in the imperial period, the Roman Forum grew organically and as a result, its buildings are an architectural and artistic amalgam of many different eras. The forum was the site of most of Rome's principle public ceremonies, including elections, triumphs, speeches, criminal trials, and even, on rare occasions, executions and public funerals. The Rostra was the open speaker's platform that once faced the Senate house, named after the ship's beaks (rostra) that were affixed to it after a Roman naval victory in the Battle of Antium in 338 BC.
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 creases and staining to edges of sheet, not affecting plate or image. 'T.61' inscribed to bottom right of plate.