Antique Ruins (the Baths of Caracalla?)

As in 'The Cascade at Tivoli', Closson has left this oil sketch unfinished. It is still possible to see parts of his preliminary drawing in the lower left-hand corner. The ruins in the background have not been identified. The dark red colour of the brickwork and the arches suggest the ruins in Rome, particularly on the Palatine Hill, and also those at Hadrian's Villa near Tivoli. It has been suggested that the arch in the centre, with a slight curve and the shadow of the higher arch on the brick wall above, may be one of the archways in the ruins of the Baths of Caracalla in Rome.

Key facts

Artist dates
1798 - 1842
Full title
Antique Ruins (the Baths of Caracalla?)
Date made
about 1824-9
Medium and support
Oil on paper laid on canvas
30.9 × 37.6 cm
Acquisition credit
The Gere Collection, on long-term loan to the National Gallery
Inventory number
Location in Gallery