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The Art of Rome: A Timeline of the City's History

3 min read
The Art of Rome: A Timeline of the City's History

The city of Rome has a long and storied history, dating back thousands of years. Rome was once the capital of an empire that stretched across much of Europe and the Mediterranean. The city has been home to many different cultures over the centuries, and this is reflected in the artworks from Rome in The Metropolitan Museum. There are artworks from the city's earliest days up through the present day, documenting the changing face of Rome over time.

Imaginary Landscape with the Palatine Hill from Campo Vaccino

French, Paris 1703–1770 Paris / The Met

    This painting is a capriccio.
    It was painted after Boucher's return to Paris from Italy.
    It is a fanciful depiction of the rustic countryside around Rome.

A Section of the Via Sacra, Rome (The Church of Saints Cosmas and Damian)

Danish, Blåkrog 1783–1853 Copenhagen / The Met

    Eckersberg produced a series of urban prospects in Rome between 1813 and 1816.
    These studies were painted in repeated sittings before the motif in order to faithfully reproduce the effects of the Mediterranean sun on architectural ensembles.
    This frieze-like view depicts the fourth-century Temple of Romulus and Remus, which forms the vestibule of the sixth-century Church of Saints Cosmas and Damian.

A Roman Landscape with Figures

German, Cologne, born ca. 1590–95, died 1638–40 Calabria / The Met

    German by birth, Wals was a key figure in the generation of Northern painters who took the Roman countryside, with its ancient monuments and ruins, as their subject.
    These artists, Claude Lorrain most notable among them, made drawings from nature.
    Wals specialized in small-scale paintings, translating his drawings into highly evocative paintings that rarely have an identifiable narrative.

View on the Quirinal Hill, Rome

Flemish, Antwerp 1755–1813 Naples / The Met

    Denis set up his easel on the upper story of a palazzo on Rome's Quirinal Hill.
    His intention was not merely to depict the urban topography.
    Facing north by northwest, the view beckoned to be painted in the afternoon to take full advantage of the shadows that heighten the counterpoint between the curve in the cityscape and the dome of the sky.

View of the Colosseum and the Arch of Constantine from the Palatine

French, Paris 1795–1875 Paris / The Met

    This work straddles the boundary between a sketch and a finished painting.
    Key monuments are shown as fragments of a compositional whole that is equal parts natural and urban, ancient and modern.
    In the foreground, the broken contours of a grassy row of arches playfully anticipate the forms of the architecture beyond.

From 14th Century To 15th Century

From 14th Century To 15th Century

During the 14th and 15th centuries, artists in Europe began to break away from the traditional Gothic style. They began to experiment with new techniques and styles, resulting in a period of great creativity and innovation in the arts. Some of the most famous artworks from this period include the paintings of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, and the sculptures of Donatello. Box with Romance Scenes     This coffret illustrated with scenes from Arthurian and other courtly literature of the M
-5 min read
From 1819 To 1826

From 1819 To 1826

The 19th century was a time of great change in the world of art. Artists began to experiment with new styles and media, and the art world was forever changed as a result. Some of the most famous artists of the time include Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Pablo Picasso. The Falls of Niagara     The painting is of Niagara Falls from the Canadian side.     The painting is based on a vignette of the falls from a map of North America published by Henry S. Tanner in 1822. Heroic Landscape w
-4 min read
From 1787 To 1800

From 1787 To 1800

The 18th century was a time of great change in the world of art. New styles and genres emerged, and artists began to experiment with new techniques and materials. The art of the 18th century reflected the changing times, and the growing interest in the natural world and the human form. Elizabeth Farren (born about 1759, died 1829), Later Countess of Derby     The Irish actress Elizabeth Farren made her London debut in 1777 and soon became one of the most popular comic performers of the day.  
-5 min read