A Capriccio of the Roman Forum Artist: Giovanni Paolo Panini (Italian, Rome, 1691–1765)


European Art

On view, 1st floor, Dura-Europos

Capriccii, or fantasy scenes, were a popular form of landscape painting in the eighteenth century. Frequently they incorporated recognizable buildings or archaeological monuments in arrangements not meant to be topographically accurate. This masterpiece by Giovanni Paolo Panini is based on a view of the Roman Forum from the west and includes the ruins of the Arch of Titus and the Temples of Castor and Pollux, Saturn, and the Divine Vespasian. Interspersed with these landmarks are fragments of classical sculpture from various collections and figures emblematic of the transitory nature of human endeavors.


Oil on canvas


67 1/4 × 85 3/4 × 7/8 in. (170.8 × 217.8 × 2.2 cm)

Credit Line

Stephen Carlton Clark, B.A. 1903, Fund

Accession Number



18th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Thomas Hope (1769-1831) before 1795 and thence by descent to Lord Francis Pelham Clinton Hope; his sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, Ltd., 20 July 1917, Lot #109 (priced '140' and sold to 'Cohen'); Lord Gerald Wellesley (later Duke of Wellington) ; Amie, Lady Noble; Sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, Ltd., 12 July 1963, Lot #46 (£8,500); Purchased by Leggatt Brothers Fine Art Dealers, London, July 1963-1964.
  • Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri, Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1972), 601
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

human figures (visual works)


Signed: "I. Paul Panini/Romae 1741"

Technical metadata and APIs


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