Circa 1750 Italy
An 18th Century Architectural Capriccio – Studio of Panini
Height 32 inches (81.28 cm)
Width 48 inches (121.92 cm
Depth 3 inches (7.62 cm)
Giovanni Paolo Panini or Pannini (1691 – 1765) was a painter and architect who worked in Rome and is considered to be one of the Vedutisti (view painters). Panini is best known for his views of Rome, in which he showed particular interest in the city’s antiquities. His most famous works include his view of the interior of the Pantheon (on behalf of Francesco Algarotti), and his vedute paintings of picture galleries which contain views of Rome. Most of his works, especially those of ruins, correspond with capriccio themes. In this they resemble the capricci of Marco Ricci. Panini also painted portraits, including one of Pope Benedict.
Elements of the composition of this painting relate closely to works by Panini. One notable comparison can be made between the architectural formation to the right side of this canvas and that of an example by Panini in the Denver Art Museum, Colorado, USA. The Denver example has an identical cluster of ruins with just one additional structure.
Another interesting attribute is the presence of archeological workmen in the foreground depicted here. Typically, capriccio views include fashionably dressed gentlemen and ladies surveying ancient views. The activities depicted in the present example are an appropriate reference to the commercial activities surrounding the Grand Tour at this time.