Architectural Paintings

The poetry of ruins (room 4)

One of the great passions shared by travellers and scholars during the eighteenth century was archaeology, which was fuelled by the discoveries of Herculaneum and Pompeii and by that of Paestum. This interest spurred the painting of places and temples such as that of Neptune at Paestum by Antonio Joli and the depiction of the ancient world through ruins shown from many different angles—ruins invented and rendered as stage sets, timeless and frozen under an intense, cold light by Marco Ricci; ruins that inspire scholarship, thought and contemplation of Antiquity in the work of Panini; and even ruins as a future project, an underlying aspect of the output of Hubert Robert, an artist who extracts the most sublime aspects of stones.

Capricho con la columna de Trajano, Coliseo, Gálata moribundo, arco de Constantino, pirámide de Cayo Cestio y templo de Cástor y Pólux

Hubert Robert (Paris, 1733-1808) Architectural Caprice with Bridge and Arch

Oil on canvas
106 x 139 cm
England, Co. Durham, The Bowes Museum; inv. BM. 264

Organized by

Caja Madrid Museo Thyssen Bornemisza