Capriccio Landscape with Classical Ruins

Giovanni Paolo Panini (Italian, 1691 – 1765)
19th century
Oil on canvas
Canvas : 31 1/2 x 41 1/2 in. (80.01 cm x 1.1 m)
Frame : 41 x 51 in. (1 x 1.3 m)
Credit Line
Gift of Johanna Just, by exchange
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Capriccio is the Italian term for a type of imaginary landscape painting typically featuring classical ruins or fantastical architectural subjects. The genre became popular in the 17th and 18th centuries as people from countries across Europe visited Italy to see the monuments of ancient Rome and the Renaissance. The desire of these visitors for souvenirs to remind them of their trips created a thriving industry catering to “Grand Tour” travelers. Among the most famous Italian painters of capricci images was Giovanni Paolo Panini, who began his career as a theater stage designer. Panini oversaw a busy workshop full of pupils and followers who helped him turn out thousands of capricci paintings for the Grand Tour market and who continued to produce work in his style for decades after his death.

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