The Ruins of the Imperial Palaces in Rome
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Carl Rottmann
German, about 1831
Graphite and watercolor with touches of white gouache
9 1/4 x 11 1/2 in.

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This vibrant sheet is preparatory for a fresco of the same subject that Rottmann executed for King Ludwig I of Bavaria (1786 - 1868) as part of a cycle of twenty-eight wall paintings of famous Italian views. These decorated an arcade at Munich's Hofgarten (Garden Court), where they were meant to evoke a journey through Italy. As often with Rottmann's watercolors, a significant part of the image remains unfinished, which reveals his pencil underdrawing technique.