Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1987
Not on view
The large scale, historic subject matter, and elegant formal organization of this picture attest to the photographer's high aesthetic ambitions. The Goldsmith's Gate, or Arch of the Goldsmith, was built by bankers and cattle merchants in A.D. 204 in honor of Septimius Severus and his family; the interior relief sculpture depicts the Roman emperor with his wife, Julia Domna. The site was recorded by many photographers who traveled to Rome, including Robert Macpherson and John Shaw Smith, but-as with many other extraordinary nineteenth-century photographs-the author of this work is unknown.