Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A View From The Coliseum

A View through Three of the North-Western Arches of the Third Storey of the Coliseum, by CW Eckersburg (1815 or 1816).  Eckersburg, from Denmark, created a series of paintings from his stay in Rome.  The three views represented below are not actually contiguous but were placed together to create harmony.  THC has been unable to find any writing documenting what we are seeing but thinks the left arch provides a view of the ancient Sacred Way to the ruins of the Roman Forum with the 4th century AD Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine just beyond the open hilltop.   If correct that means the buildings on higher ground behind the Basilica are those on the Capitoline Hill.

Also take a moment to look at the details of the masonry of the Coliseum itself.  Built in 72-80 AD by the Emperors Vespasian and Titus it remained in use for its original purposes into the early 6th century.  Thereafter it fell into disrepair though by the 13th century the Frangipani family had occupied the site and fortified the ruined stadium making it into their personal stronghold. Throughout the Middle Ages the Coliseum was used as a quarry with much stone and its entire marble facade removed for use elsewhere.

Image from Wikipedia.
See adjacent text.

1 comment:

  1. The three direct views begs the question if they were positioned by design or merely coincidental. Interesting non-the-less. dm