Roman Capriccio: The Colosseum and Other Monuments

Giovanni Paolo Panini (Italian, 1691-1765)

Currently on View in C204
Image Licensing

This capriccio, an imaginative view of architectural monuments and sculpture, includes two of the most famous statues of classical antiquity, the Borghese Warrior at left and the Dying Gaul at right. Also depicted are the Colosseum, the Column of Trajan, and the Arch of Septimius Severus. Paintings such as these often complemented collections of casts and copies of antique sculpture.

Views of Rome were in tremendous demand from classically educated foreign visitors who sought souvenirs of the most admired monuments of antiquity. By the mid-1730s Panini had built up a considerable English clientele, including the Duke of Norfolk, the former owner of this pair of paintings.

Possibly Duke of Norfolk, Beechill, Yorkshire, England.{1}
(Arturo Grassi, New York, New York);{2}
Purchased for the John Herron Art Institute, Indianapolis, Indiana, now the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, in 1950 (50.6).
{1} This information is presumed to come from Grassi at the time of purchase, and has not been corroborated.
{2} Grassi corresponded with the IMA director, Wilbur Peat, in June 1950 about the identification of some of the sculptures depicted in this painting. Interestingly, Grassi's wife, Cornelia Lemcke, was a native of Indianapolis, and they spent time in Indiana regularly.

Object Information

Giovanni Paolo Panini (Italian, 1691-1765)
creation date
oil on canvas
38-3/4 x 52-1/2 in.
approximately 47-7/8 x 62-1/8 x 5 in. (framed)
accession number
credit line
Gift of Lila Allison Lilly in memory of her husband, Josiah Kirby Lilly
Public Domain
European Painting and Sculpture Before 1800

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