For Students

Past Exhibitions: Previous


March 10-May 21, 2000
Works on Paper Gallery

Giocchino Altobelli and Pompeo Molins
Piazza di Spagna
ca. 1860
albumen print

When American writer Henry James arrived in Rome in October of 1869 he wrote of his first hours in the Eternal City, "From midday to dusk I have been roaming the streets. At last--for the first time--I live!" Since the Renaissance a sojourn in Rome was considered one of the essential components of an artist's education. Roman ruins and Baroque churches have long fascinated the visitor and been the subjects of artists' work. The eighteenth-century architect and engraver Giovanni Battista Piranesi executed a large series of engravings depicting views of Rome, many of which formed visitors' preconceptions of Rome prior to travelling to Italy. Piranesi's interest in volume and mass and his intensely dramatic use of light and shadow left some visitors slightly disappointed when they finally stood before Rome's great monuments. For most, however, the city's rich and diverse history continues to be found in the wealth of buildings, monuments, paintings and sculptures that survive from Etruscan times until the present. Included in the exhibition are works by Piranesi, Jean-Honore Fragonard, James Anderson, and Albert Kahn.