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Landscape of Ruins

Artist Giovanni Paolo Panini (Italian, 1691–1765)
Title Landscape of Ruins
Date Ca. 1715–18
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions Framed: 36 1/8 × 46 1/4 × 3 1/8 in. (91.8 × 117.5 × 7.9 cm)
Stretcher: 29 x 39 3/8 in. (73.7 x 100 cm)
Credit Line Given in memory of Marguerite Lilly Noyes by Thomas T. Solley, Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University
Accession Number 74.19.2

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About this Work

Drawing on his training in painting, architecture, and stage design, Giovanni Paolo Panini found his niche as a vedute (view) painter. This early work is an example of a capriccio, a type of veduta that depicts an imaginary architectural scene, although the colonnaded rotunda in the center appears to be loosely based on the Temple of Vesta at Tivoli, a country retreat near Rome. Archaeological discoveries inspired eighteenth-century artists to include ruins—whether real or imagined—in veduta painting. Panini painted this scene around the time of the rediscovery of Herculaneum, a Roman city destroyed by the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE.

1974, Gift to the Indiana University Art Museum from Thomas T. Solley, Bloomington, IN. Solley purchased from L'Antiquitaire (Nereo Fioratti), New York, NY

Before 1974, with Nereo Fioratti, L'Antiquitaire, Inc., New York, NY [1]

Early 20th century, Probably in a French Private Collection [2]


[1] According to Helen Fioratti (phone call of February 28, 2006), documents regarding the provenance of this painting were destroyed by a water leak.

[2] Per custom stamps on the painting's verso.

Provenance research is ongoing for this and many other items in the Eskenazi Museum of Art permanent collection. For more information about the provenance of this artwork, please contact the department curator with specific questions.

June 15–September 2, 2007, "Architecture Real and Imagined," Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, IN

August 4–September 29, 1996, "Scenic Views: Eighteenth-Century Landscapes, Ruinscapes and Cityscapes," Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, IN

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"Landscape of Ruins | Collections Online." Collections Online. Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University, 2024.