Staircase in the Villa of Maecenas, Tivoli

The Villa Maecenas at Tivoli outside Rome was actually the foundations of an ancient temple complex, and was named after the famous patron of the poets Horace and Virgil. This painting is a masterful depiction of successive architectural spaces: first the area to the front of the entrance, then the vault of the staircase itself, and finally the passageway at the top, brilliantly lit by five windows which are echoed by the five slats in the door to the left. In addition to Corot's signature, a more recent hand has added 'Granet'.

Key facts

Artist dates
1796 - 1875
Full title
Staircase in the Entrance to the Villa of Maecenas at Tivoli
Date made
about 1826
Medium and support
Oil on paper laid on canvas
29.7 × 21.5 cm
Inscription summary
Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit
The Gere Collection, on long-term loan to the National Gallery
Inventory number
Location in Gallery