Robert studied in Rome from 1754 until 1765 and developed a fascination with ancient architecture. He continued to depict partially ruined structures, both real and imagined, throughout his career, earning the nickname "Robert of the Ruins." Here, Robert has commingled present and past, life and decay. Vegetation grows from the crumbling arch and figures lean on architectural fragments and gesture toward the weathered statue, reminding the viewer of the relationships between ancient civilization and today. The size and horizontal format of this work are typical of a decoration to be hung over a doorway. This "overdoor" would have been part of a group of paintings, likely also depicting ruins, that formed a cohesive decorative suite for an elite interior.
- 26 x 60 in.
- Oil on canvas
- Public Domain, Courtesy of the Indianapolis Museum of Art
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