The Temple of Vesta at Tivoli seen from the Gorge

late 18th century, French

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

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Situated on the edge of the cliff dominating the valley below Tivoli, is the famous antique Temple of Vesta, commonly known as the Temple of the Tiburtine Sibyl. This small circular building, dating from the last years of the Roman Republic, was converted into a church known as Santa Maria della Rotonda in the Middle Ages. It was admired from the 17th century onwards as a fine example of antique architecture.

The artist who painted this dramatic composition has still not been conclusively identified, although Louis Gauffier (1761 - 1801) has been suggested.

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