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Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg (2 January 1783  22 July 1853) View of the Forum in Rome Oil on canvas,  1814 32 x 41 cm National Gallery, London, UK
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Title: View of the Forum in Rome
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Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg (2 January 1783 – 22 July 1853)
View of the Forum in Rome
Oil on canvas,  1814
32 x 41 cm
National Gallery, London, UK

 

This is one of the most famous views in Rome, looking along the Forum towards the Palazzo dei Senatorio on the Capitol. The three surviving columns of the Temple of Castor and Pollux frame the composition on the left; in the middle distance are the remains of the Temples of Saturn and Vespasian. In 1814 the Forum was still used as a field for grazing cattle and many prominent monuments (such as the Arch of Septimius Severus on the right) had yet to be fully excavated.

Writing to the engraver J.F. Clemens in July 1814, Eckersberg declared his intention to 'make a collection of the most beautiful views in and around Rome'. View of the Forum in Rome probably dates from this campaign since it corresponds with a detailed drawing dated 8 June 1814 (Copenhagen, Hirschsprung Collection).

The three years that Eckersberg spent in Italy from 1813 to 1816 mark his emergence as a mature artist. During this period he painted several figure compositions, some portraits and around forty views of Rome and its environs.

Eckersberg sale, Copenhagen, 17 January 1854; private collection, Denmark; bought at the Kunsthallen auction house, Copenhagen, 1992.

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