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The Basilica of Constantine

The Basilica of Constantine was the largest building in the Roman Forum. When its nave and south aisle collapsed during the Middle Ages, it became a dramatic ruin and a popular subject for many artists, including Piranesi. Although identified during the eighteenth century as a view of the remains of the dining room in the golden house of Nero, commonly called the Temple of Peace, this etching was later identified as the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine.

Giovanni Battista Piranesi
Italian, 1720–1778
The Basilica of Constantine from Views of Rome (Vedute di Roma)
1757
Etching on paper
Image: 16 ½ x 21 13/16 in. (41.9 x 55.4 cm); sheet: 19 5/8 x 28 ½ in. (49.8 x 72.4 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 75.23.2