View of the Colosseum, Rome

Pierre Henri de Valenciennes (French, Toulouse 1750–1819 Paris)

Oil on board
10 1/4 x 15 3/8 in. (26 x 39.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Thaw Collection, Jointly Owned by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Morgan Library & Museum, Gift of Eugene V. Thaw, 2009
Accession Number:
  • Provenance

    ?Pierre-Charles de L'Espine, Paris; Lachèvre, Rouen (until about 1973; sold to Bayser); [Galerie de Bayser, Paris, in 1973]; Claus Virch, Paris; Eugene V. Thaw, New York (by 2002–9)

  • Exhibition History

    Paris. Galerie de Bayser. "Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes," December 15, 1973–January 15, 1974, checklist no. 1 (as "Vue du Colisée à Rome).

    New York. Pierpont Morgan Library. "The Thaw Collection: Master Drawings and Oil Sketches, Acquisitions Since 1994," September 27, 2002–January 19, 2003, no. 66 (as "View of the Colosseum").

  • References

    Geneviève Lacambre. "Les paysages de Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes 1750–1819." Le petit Journal des grandes Expositions, n.s., no. 30 (1976), p. 2 under no. A23, calls it another example of the same composition by Valenciennes in the Musée du Louvre, Paris (inv. RF 2945) ["Dossier du département des Peintures no. 11," published in conjunction with exhibition held at the Musée du Louvre, Paris, February 13–May 3, 1976].

    Paula Rae Radisich. "Eighteenth-Century 'Plein-air' Painting and the Sketches of Pierre Henri de Valenciennes." Art Bulletin 64 (March 1982), p. 103 n. 54, states that autograph replicas of the artist's Italian views included in Exh. Paris 1973–74, of which this is one, were mounted on blue cardboard and threaded with loops for hanging.

    William M. Griswold in The Thaw Collection: Master Drawings and Oil Sketches, Acquisitions Since 1994. Exh. cat., Pierpont Morgan Library. New York, 2002, pp. 148–49, no. 66, ill. (color), states that although this sketch or the version in the Louvre was presumably painted in the studio, both give the impression of having been painted outdoors, which was the artist's aim in other such cases as well; calls the MMA sketch "arguably freer and more boldly conceived" than the Louvre version.

    Esther Bell. "Catalogue Raisonné of the Thaw Collection." Studying Nature: Oil Sketches from the Thaw Collection. New York, 2011, p. 144, no. 129, ill. (color), calls it "View of the Colosseum, Rome".

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History