View of the Pantheon of Agrippa (Veduta del Panteon d'Agrippa)
Giuseppi Acquaroni ( Italian, 1780 - 1847 )
Produced more than one hundred years apart, these two etchings of the Pantheon represent the enduring interest in vedute (views) of Rome, which were often purchased as souvenirs by Europeans traveling on the Grand Tour, the customary trip around Italy that complemented a classical education for upper-class men. Giovanni Battista Falda, an Italian printmaker active at the end of the 17th century, recorded the construction and restoration projects of Pope Alexander VII—such as the expansion and grading of the Piazza della Rotonda—in a three-volume book of prints. Falda’s architectural elevations and topographical views of Rome were highly influential, contributing to Rome’s preeminence as a center for this genre of print. Giuseppe Acquaroni’s work shows the Egyptian obelisk added to the fountain in 1711 under Pope Clement XI. Also notable, both prints show the twin bell towers that were added to the Pantheon’s portico in the 17th century, which have since been removed.