The Arch of Septimius Severus, Rome

Object Details

Title:

The Arch of Septimius Severus, Rome

Artist/Maker(s):

Cornelis van Poelenburgh (Dutch, about 1594/1595 - 1667)

Culture:

Dutch

Date:

1623

Medium:

Pen and brown ink and brown wash over black chalk

Dimensions:

29.1 x 19.4 cm (11 7/16 x 7 5/8 in.)

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After choosing this unusual side angle on the arch of Septimius Severus, Cornelis van Poelenburgh concentrated on the contrasting patterns of sunlight and shade on the structure. He juxtaposed broadly washed areas of deep shadow with brilliantly illuminated passages articulated by the white paper. His interesting choice of an oblique view of the arch, highlighting the narrow columns, and his omission of several architectural features allowed Poelenburgh to treat it as blocks of light and shadow rather than as a specific structure. Clusters of vegetation growing through cracks in the stonework, formed with simple, looped strokes, appear as the only distraction.

Exhibitions
17th Century Dutch Drawings (July 21 to October 4, 1992)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), July 21 to October 4, 1992
Beyond Beauty: Antiquities as Evidence (December 16, 1997 to January 17, 1999)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to January 17, 1999
The Poetry of Paper (July 23 to October 20, 2013)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 23 to October 20, 2013