Imago Urbis Romae
The richest ichnographical tradition referring to the city of Rome is represented by a hundred of drawings, engravings and paintings of Italian and foreign artists, from big landscapes to views of particular areas or monuments.
The splendid rooms of Palazzo dei Conservatori are the setting for a suggestive exhibition of urban landscapes through the centuries. Imago Urbis Romae offers a selection of works, favouring the 'spectacular' aspect, that restore the image of Rome's most representative sites.
Almost one hundred exceptional examples (oils, etchings, drawings, and watercolours) dedicated to the Urbe over three centuries take us back to the great moments of landscape and cartographic tradition that, along side the Classic aspect and the spiritual importance of the city, allow us to see the emergence of a new characteristic quality: a 'natural monumentality' that artists and visitors came to identify as being exclusive to Rome where, as Stendhal writes, "a simple shed is monumental".
The exhibit is divided into six sections: Modern Rome, the Great Panoramas, the Views, Ancient Rome, the Tevere and its' banks, Saint Peter's and the Vatican.
The first section dedicated to the 'portrait' of Roma Moderna begins with two works by Giovanni Paolo Panini Piazza di Monte Cavallo and Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore, on loan by kind concession of the Quirinale, and concludes with the analytic landscapes of Gaspar Van Wittel whose topographic accuracy and realism in an urban and architectural context are represented in works such as Piazza e Palazzo di Monte Cavallo and Piazza del Popolo.
The " Vedute" section includes works by Israel Silvestre, Giuseppe Vasi, Julius Eugen Ruhl, Wilhelm Noak, and Alfred Guesdon, each one a prototype for series of reproductions, include works by Israel Silvestre, Giuseppe Vasi, Julius Eugen Ruhl, Wilhelm Noak, and Alfred Guesdon.
The " Grandi Panorami" section exhibits important foreign loans such as the extraordinary series of 9 engravings by Louis François Cassas from the Bibliotèque Mazarine, never before seen in Italy, Claude Lorrain's Trinità dei Monti from the National Gallery of London on loan for the first time outside of England, and the splendid Panorama da Monte Mario by Giovan Battista Lusieri from the Gemaldegalerie der Akademie der Bildenden Kunste of Vienna.
" Roma Antica" is devoted to 'portraits' of singular monuments: the Fori, the Colosseo, the Pantheon, the Basilica di Massenzio are repeated in paintings by Wilhelm Van Nieulandt, Canaletto from the Szépmüvészeti Múzeum of Budapest, Jan Frans Van Bloemen, Bernardo Bellotto and Abraham Louis Ducros from the Goethe-Museum of Dusseldorf, François Marius Granet from the Musée Granet of Aix-en-Provence, and Ippolito Caffi.
From the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza of Madrid the Veduta di Roma con porto fluviale e Castel Sant'Angelo, signed IDM, a work by a follower of Joss de Momper, imposes its eccentricity in the Tevere section.
Piazza San Pietro by Panini and Le Mura Vaticane by Thomas Jones are shown in the concluding S. Pietro e il Vaticano section of the exhibition.
The exhibition, promoted by the Comune di Roma, Assessorato alle Politiche Culturali - Sovraintendenza ai Beni Culturali, is organized by Cesare De Seta.