Rome as ‘eternal city’ has long existed in the British imagination and has represented a rich source of inspiration for artists through the centuries. Once an essential stop of the Grand Tour itinerary in the 17th and 18th centuries, the city became from the mid-19th century an international hub for photographers, ready to train their cameras on the monumental ruins and renowned historical buildings. Since then Rome has been captured on film through many different approaches, some of them influenced by older visual arts such as painting, by cinema, social documentary, photojournalism and street photography. This variety of ‘visions’ were at the core of the exhibition Eternal City: Rome in the Photographs Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects, which ran at the Vittoriano in Rome from 28 June to 28 October 2018.
The catalogue for the exhibition is available to purchase here.
NOTES: Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of the oldest churches of Rome. The basic floor plan and wall structure of the church date back to the 340s, and much of the structure dates from 1140-1143. The Avila Chapel was added in 1686 by Antonio Gherardi.
NOTES; This building is the official seat of the Mayor of Rome. The two colossal Roman statues representing the Nile and Tiber were formerly in Constantine's baths on the Quirinal Hill and were moved here by Michelangelo. The fountain basins were added in 1589 when the Acqua Felice aqueduct reached the hill.
NOTES: This palace was built by Pope Gregory XIII in 1574 as a summer residence. It served as a papal residence and housed the central offices responsible for the civil government of the Papal States until 1870. It has been the official residence and workplace of the Presidents of the Italian Republic since 1946.
NOTES: This is from an album of photographs of Rome taken between 1865-1890. The album was part of a collection belonging to Frederick Etchells. This image is likely to before 1883 as the two bell towers added in 1626-1627 were demolished in 1883. The design of the bell towers has been attributed to either Borromini or Carlo Maderno who was the Chief Papal Architect at that time.
NOTES: Construction on the Renaissance church of Santa Maria di Loreto began in 1507 led by Antonio Sangallo the Younger. It was completed by Giacomo del Duca in 1582 with the addition of the drum, dome, and the unusual lantern. The Baroque church of Santissimo Nome di Maria was built by Antoine Derizet between 1736 and 1741. The Monument to Vittorio Emanuele, also known as Altare della Patria, was designed by Giuseppe Sacconi in 1895, inaugurated in 1911, and completed in 1935.