About the Artist
Giovanni Paolo Panini (1691–1765) was the most celebrated and popular view painter in 18th-century Rome. Although Panini worked as an architect, designing Cardinal Valenti's villa and the chapel in Santa Maria della Scala (1728), in the last 30 years of his life he specialized in painting the views of Rome that secured his lasting reputation. These were of two main types, vedute prese da i luoghi (carefully and accurately rendered views of actual places) and vedute ideate (imaginary views and combinations of particular buildings and monuments).
This framed poster is a reproduction of Giovanni Paolo Panini's Interior of the Pantheon, Rome (1734).
In Panini's day, as in our own, the Pantheon was one of the great tourist attractions of Rome. Built under Hadrian in the 2nd century, this monumental domed temple has survived intact, owing to its consecration as a Christian church—Santa Maria Rotunda—in 609 AD. Panini's depiction is populated with foreign visitors and a lively mix of Romans from all social strata who congregate in the Pantheon to pray, chat, and admire the wondrous architecture.
Trained in architecture and theatrical design, Panini manipulated the perspective to show a larger view of the interior than is actually possible from any single place. The viewpoint is deep within the building, facing the entrance. The portals open to the colossal columns of the porch and a glimpse of the obelisk in the piazza before the church. Through the oculus in the center of the dome, Panini revealed the bright blue sky flecked with clouds.
This classical landmark inspired the design of the Rotunda in the National Gallery's West Building.
- 32 x 24 inches (poster), 35 x 27.25 inches (framed)
- Solid wood frame with plexiglass