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Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, View of the Forum in Rome

Key facts
Full title View of the Forum in Rome
Artist Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg
Artist dates 1783 - 1853
Date made 1814
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 32 × 41 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1992
Inventory number NG6543
Location Room 45
Collection Main Collection
View of the Forum in Rome
Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg

This is one of the most well-known views of classical Rome. We are looking across the Forum towards the Palazzo Senatorio on the Capitol. Although the Forum had yet to be fully excavated, the three surviving columns of the Temple of Castor and Pollux can be seen here on the left. The remains of the Temples of Saturn and Vespasian are in the middle distance, and the Arch of Septimius Severus is on the right.

The Danish artist Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg painted this view during the three years he spent in Italy from 1813 to 1816. He painted the architecture in meticulous detail and used a scaffolding of interlocking horizontals and verticals to bind the composition together. The vignettes of everyday life create a contrast with the former grandeur of Imperial Rome.

Landscape painters working in and around Rome from around 1780 to 1830 often painted on location, anticipating the practice of painting outdoors that became a significant aspect of later nineteenth-century art.

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