Art/ Collection/ Art Object

A Section of the Via Sacra, Rome (The Church of Saints Cosmas and Damian)

Artist:
Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg (Danish, Blåkrog 1783–1853 Copenhagen)
Date:
ca. 1814–15
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
12 3/8 x 17 1/8 in. (31.4 x 43.5 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Nineteenth-Century, Modern, and Contemporary Funds, 2012
Accession Number:
2012.25
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 806
In Rome, between 1813 and 1816, Eckersberg produced a series of urban prospects remarkable for their scrupulously simple compositions and saturated hues. These studies were painted in repeated sittings before the motif in order to faithfully reproduce the effects of the Mediterranean sun on architectural ensembles. This frieze-like view depicts the fourth-century Temple of Romulus and Remus, which forms the vestibule of the sixth-century Church of Saints Cosmas and Damian. Eckersberg later installed his Roman views in the apartment he occupied at Charlottenborg Palace, Copenhagen, where they proved a revelation to his younger contemporaries.
Kunstforeningen, Copenhagen (from 1853; purchased from the artist by January 5, for 150 Rigsdaler; sold by lottery on January 6, to Seidelin); Overlæge [Consultant] Seidelin, Roskilde (from 1853); Fru Seidelin, Roskilde (in 1898); private collection, Denmark (by 1983–2011; sale, Bruun Rasmussen, Copenhagen, November 28, 2011, no. 12, to MMA)
Copenhagen. Kunstforeningen. 1828, no. 155 (as "En anden Del af Via Sacra") [see Helsted 1983].

Copenhagen. Charlottenborg Palace. "Sønderjysk Kunstudstilling," August 20–September 9, 1937, no. 85 (as "En Del af Via sacra i Rom," dated 1813–16).

Copenhagen. Thorvaldsens Museum. "C. W. Eckersberg i Rom," December 15, 1983–February 12, 1984, no. 20 (as "Kirken SS. Cosma e Damiano ved Via Sacra," lent by a private collector).

Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg. Diary entry. January 5, 1853 [Dagbøger fra perioden 1816–1853, 14 vols., Royal Library, Copenhagen, Ms. Add.1138 4to; excerpt published in 2011 Bruun Rasmussen sale catalogue (see ex-colls)], states that he "visited judge Collin [Jonas Collin, 1776–1861?] this morning and brought him two drawings of the paintings that the Kunstforeningen bought representing Saints Cosmas and Damian and the interior of the Colosseum".

Kunstforeningen i Kjøbenhavn: Dens Historie og Virksomhed fra dens Stiftelse til 1863, Udgivet af Bestyrelsen. Copenhagen, 1864, p. 172, no. 37, calls it "S. Cosmo e Damiano" and states that it was sold by the Kunstforeningen on January 6, 1853, for 150 Rigsdaler, to Overlæge Seidelin.

Th. Lind. Maleren Eckersbergs Levned og Værker. Copenhagen, 1872, p. 222, lists it under "Prospecter fra Rom og Omegn, malede 1813–1816" as "En anden Del af Via Sacra".

Emil Hannover. Maleren C. W. Eckersberg: En Studie i dansk Kunsthistorie. Copenhagen, 1898, p. 338, no. 192, calls it "En anden Del af Via sacra" and dates it 1813–16.

Dyveke Helsted in C. W. Eckersberg i Rom 1813–16. Ed. Dyveke Helsted, Eva Henschen, Bjarne Jørneas. Exh. cat., Thorvaldsens Museum. Copenhagen, 1983, pp. 98–99, no. 20, ill., dates it 1814(?); notes that the gently curving facade to the right of the church, which belonged to the eighteenth-century Oratorio della Via Crucis, was demolished during excavations in the Via Sacra in the 1870s; notes the existence of the related drawing.

Peter Michael Hornung and Kasper Monrad. C. W. Eckersberg – dansk malerkunsts fader. Copenhagen, 2005, pp. 143–44, ill. (color), call it "Kirken Santi Cosma e Damiano ved Via Sacra," 1814?, in a private collection.



When the artist lent this painting to Copenhagen 1828 (see Exhibitions), where it was listed as no. 155, he assigned it the title En anden Del af Via Sacra (Another Section of the Via Sacra). This is an implicit reference to the painting listed as no. 144 in the same exhibition, called En Del af Via Sacra (Section of the Via Sacra). The latter work is now in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen (inv. I. N. 2611).
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