Among Panini’s most brilliant inventions are this picture and its pendant, Ancient Rome. They contrive to show the most famous monuments of the city as paintings arranged in a sumptuous gallery. Both works were painted for the great French collector, the dount de Stainville, later duke de Choiseul, who was ambassador to Rome between 1753 and 1757. The artist has depicted himself seated in an armchair. Among the most famous works are Michelangelo’s Moses, Bernini’s statues of Constantine, David, and Apollo and “Daphne, and his fountains in the Piazza Navona. Panini also shows his own, unexecuted, proposal for the design of the Spanish Steps.
(On display at The Metropolitan Museum of Art)