Roman Capriccio: The Colosseum and Other Monuments

Creation date
oil on canvas
38-3/4 x 52-1/2 in.
Credit line
Gift of Lila Allison Lilly in memory of her husband, Josiah Kirby Lilly
Accession number
Currently On View In
William L. and Jane H. Fortune Gallery - H214

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. 

Such works often complemented collections of casts and copies after the Antique. Indeed, this capriccio, or imaginary view, includes two of the most famous statues of classical antiquity: the Dying Gaul and the Borghese Warrior. Also depicted are the Colosseum, the Column of Trajan, and the Arch of Septimius Severus.

Possibly Duke of Norfolk, Beechill, Yorkshire.{1} (Arturo Grassi, New York);{2} purchased for the Herron Art Institute, now the Indianapolis Museum of Art, in 1950.

{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.
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