The Lottery in Piazza di Montecitorio

'The Lottery in Piazza di Montecitorio' illustrates Panini's gifts as a master of architectural perspective and as a painter of everyday life with brilliantly orchestrated figural groups. The painting shows a large crowd of people assembled to witness the lottery draw taking place on the balcony of the Palazzo di Montecitorio in Rome - something which occurred nine times a year from 1743 onwards.

The majority of Panini's works show more conventional views of Rome. 'The Lottery in Piazza di Montecitorio' is a rare example of him portraying contemporary events. In this case, the painting affords a connection across the centuries because the lottery remains the game of chance most favoured today.

In his own lifetime, Panini's reputation rivalled that of Canaletto in Venice. Although Panini was a popular artist with British tourists, present holdings of his work in British public collections are small.

Key facts

Artist dates
1691 - 1765
Full title
The Lottery in Piazza di Montecitorio
Date made
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
105 x 163 cm
Inscription summary
Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit
Accepted by HM Government in lieu of Inheritance Tax and allocated to the National Gallery with additional funding from the Art Fund (including a contribution from the Wolfson Foundation) and a number of gifts in wills, 2006
Inventory number
Location in Gallery