Many artists went on their Grand Tour to Italy and were impressed by the roman ruins there.
But only a minority was fascinated by the aspect of decay. Most of them wanted to illustrate the magnitude and the luxury of these glorious times. So they took the ruins more as an inspiration to show how they could have been.
One of the most successful painters in this kind of reconstruction was the Dutch-born English classicist painter Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836-1912).
The Colosseum (1896)
The sweet colors, the light, the vivid children and the flowers; there couldn’t be a bigger difference to the dark pessimistic paintings by Caspar David Friedrich.
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