Samuel Palmer The Colosseum and the Arch of Constantine from the Palatine, Rome 1837–9

Artwork details

Artist
Samuel Palmer 1805–1881
Title
The Colosseum and the Arch of Constantine from the Palatine, Rome
Date 1837–9
Medium Graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions Support: 137 x 279 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Presented by the Art Fund (Herbert Powell Bequest) 1967
Reference
T01008
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Display caption

Samuel Palmer spent an extended honeymoon in Italy in 1837–9. This was a turning point in his career: having specialised in visionary English scenery, Palmer now turned to the Italian landscape for subject matter.

Rome had been a favourite destination for English travellers since the seventeenth century. Its famous monuments and ruins were seen as the ultimate source of classical values. The spontaneous feeling of this sketch, and its long, almost panoramic format, deviate from the carefully balanced compositional formats that had dominated traditional views of the city.

September 2004

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