Modena, 1700 – Naples, 1777
View of Rome with architectural Capricci
oil on canvas, cm 76×128
This large painting features a capriccio with ruins in the foreground, creating perspective with ancient-style temples and a more sweeping view behind them. In the background we can clearly recognise Rome. Indeed, we can see the Trajan Column and not far behind it a church that could be Santa Maria di Loreto. This is a view from Trajan’s Market or Villa Aldobrandini. Framed by the double arch of the ruin in the centre, we can see Villa Medici, which is not realistically positioned in relation to the aforementioned column.
The style of the composition and painting recall the work of Antonio Joli, a specialist in capricci and city views. In this canvas, we can see his painterly virtuosity in the sky and in the natural details, typical of his production, as well as the shades of grey in the ornaments and friezes touched by skilful and vibrant brushstrokes of ochre and a browner hue. This is a characteristic that Joli developed during his period of Roman views, after 1720, to when this beautiful composition can also be dated.