Eastlake was one of the most earnest of the younger artists who adopted neo-classicism in the 1820s. He painted subjects from classical history, and in Rome produced a number of landscape compositions depicting ancient ruins. Some of these continue the tradition of Thomas Jones's immediate open-air studies. Others incorporate crumbling classical buildings in formal designs dominated by architectural geometry. This is, at one level, a simple topographical view of the type made by many visitors to Rome; at another it is a refined meditation on past grandeur and its inevitable decline.
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