Temple of Clitumnus between Fulgino and Spoleto


Giovanni Battista Piranesi ( Italian, 1720 - 1778 )

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General Description

The temple dedicated to Clitumnus, god of the Clitunno River (a tributary of the Tiber), is in fact an ancient tomb that was converted into a Christian church in the early medieval period. The small temple’s convenient location between Foligno and Spoleto allowed for it to be included on the tourist route of central Italy. Piranesi’s rendering, which belongs to his series Some Views of Triumphal Arches and other monuments erected by the Romans is based on sketches he made on his travels around Italy between 1743–1747. He combines architectural accuracy with romantic visions of crumbling columns and wild vegetation. This print also shows Piranesi’s interest in dramatic light and shadow: while the foundation of the temple is bathed in sunlight, the foreground is cast in deep shadow.