PANNINI, Giovanni Paolo
(b. 1691, Piacenza, d. 1765, Roma)

Capriccio of Classical Ruins

Oil on canvas, 74 x 100 cm
Private collection

Pannini's mature manner, culminating in his easel works of the 1730s and 1740s, developed through an assimilation of a variety of influences, most notably his exposure to the work of Gaspare Vanvitelli, another master of Roman vedute, and Salvator Rosa. The present painting is a excellent example of how Pannini incorporated all these different influences and interpreted them in his own unique and impressive fashion.

This capriccio of classical ruins includes the Temple of Antonius and Faustina, the Colosseum, the Basilica of Maxentius and the Temple of Venus and Rome. The architectural elements are accurate depictions of real sites, however, Pannini has removed them from their natural context and positioned them in his own order across the panoramic canvas. The scene is populated by figures: a man admiring the Farnese Hercules while others converse with washerwomen near a sculpted relief of a sacrifice in the foreground.