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European Art
Artist: Giovanni Paolo Panini, Italian, Rome, 1691–1765

A Capriccio of the Roman Forum


Oil on canvas

170.8 × 217.8 × 2.2 cm (67 1/4 × 85 3/4 × 7/8 in.) framed: 192.4 × 240 × 4.4 cm (75 3/4 × 94 1/2 × 1 3/4 in.)
Stephen Carlton Clark, B.A. 1903, Fund
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.
On view
Italian, Rome
18th century

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.

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 such records is ongoing.