Paintings | 17th Century | Paolo Anesi | The Tiber near Castel Sant'Angelo | Artwork profile

65 x 38 cm
Oil on canvas


The Tiber near Castel Sant'Angelo

Paolo Anesi

The subject

This landscape depicts the stretch of the Tiber that flows by Castel Sant’Angelo, as seen from the riverbank. Vedutism as a genre became strongly established during the 18th century. In this period Rome was the centre of development for an important independent branch, involving both Italian and foreign artists, which focused on the depiction of great monuments of the past harmoniously immersed in the urban context of 18th century Rome and often completed with scenes from popular life, such as the two small characters seated on the riverbank in the foreground. This genre was immediately popular with collectors, in particular the most important Roman families.

Castel Sant’Angelo, originally designed as a Mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian, was modified many times over the course of the centuries, eventually resembling the fortress shown in this work by Anesi and is still standing to this day.

The painting
The imposing silhouette of the hushed mass of this ancient Roman monument seems to complement the serene flow of the river. Each element in the composition conveys tranquillity to the viewer, all possible dynamic elements are tempered, and even the human figures are harmoniously immersed in this serene almost mystical environment. The purpose of this movement in Roman landscape painting, in which Paolo Anesi was a great protagonist, was to recreate a timeless environment that perfectly blended ancient and modern, transforming his beloved city into a new Arcadia.