Arts & Culture

Picture Gallery with Views of Modern Rome

Giovanni Paolo Pannini1757

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

This extravagant souvenir was one of four similar paintings commissioned by the Duc de Choiseul to commemorate his stay in Rome as the French ambassador to the Vatican. Pannini, who became the most celebrated view painter in Rome, had been trained in a school of stage designers in Bologna. He depicted the duke seated in the center of a fantastic art gallery, surrounded by sculptures by Michelangelo and Bernini. Around him hang Pannini's meticulously detailed views of Roman buildings, fountains, and monuments of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, including Saint Peter's Square, the Trevi Fountain, and the Spanish Steps.

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