Ruins of the Colosseum

Joseph Benoît Suvée French

Not on view

Born in Bruges, Suvée completed his artistic training in Paris, where in 1771 he won the Prix de Rome, beating out a young Jacques Louis David, five years his junior. As a student at the Académie de France in Rome, he made this accomplished study of the sun-drenched ruins of the Colosseum. In both technique and conception, it echoes the landscape drawings of his predecessors, artists such as Hubert Robert who saw antiquity as a source of picturesque motifs and an inspiration for reverie.

When David followed Suvée to Italy a few years later, he too drew the local landscape, but on a more compact scale and in schematic gray washes, producing uninflected records of the dense urban landscape.

Ruins of the Colosseum, Joseph Benoît Suvée (French, Bruges 1743–1807 Rome), Red chalk

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