Ruins on the Palatine

before 1830, André Giroux

The Gere Collection, on long-term loan to the National Gallery, © Private collection 2000. Used by permission

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The sketch shows ancient Roman ruins on the south-east corner of the Palatine Hill. A wall of piers and enclosed arches marked by dark windows and passageways rises up abruptly in front of the viewer. The crisp geometry of the architecture has been softened and muted by age, and invasive trees and shrubs cling to fissures in the stone and take root. They blur the edges of the ancient buildings so that they seem to blend back into nature.

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