View of Rome from the Janiculum in the South-West; verso: Sketch of buildings and plants

Artist: Anthonis van den Wijngaerde (Netherlandish, Antwerp (?) 1525–1571 Madrid)

Date: ca. 1540–50

Medium: Pen and brown ink, brown and blue wash, over black chalk, on three pieces of paper glued together

Dimensions: Sheet: 51 3/16 × 8 5/16 in. (130 × 21.1 cm)

Classification: Drawings

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1952

Accession Number: 52.124.1


The Janiculum Hill, or Gianicolo, was famous for its excellent views of Rome. Not one of the Seven Hills of Rome, the Janiculum Hill is a long ridge on the Trastevere side of the Tiber, today covered with parks and gardens. Anton van den Wyngaerde was looking northeast when he made this drawing. On the left one can see the Castel Sant'Angelo. The highest tower on the righthand side, seen in the distance, is the campanile of the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore. The two large structures near the center of the composition in the foreground are the ruins of the baths of Diocletian.
Wyngaerde was a specialist in town views. Although little about his life is known, his travels can be reconstructed from his numerous topographical drawings. He also worked and made views in England, Spain, and the southern Netherlands. The present drawing must have been made around 1552–53, when the artist was in Italy.