Rome from the terrace of the Villa Medici

1860
Oil on canvas
H. 58,6 cm x W. 115,6 cm

Henner painted this work at the Villa Medici in Rome where he stayed between 1859 and 1864.  However, this is not simply a view of the Eternal City as seen from the villa.The painter has placed groups of “typical” characters, undoubtedly observed in real life and easily recognisable by their clothes (monks, peasants, elegant ladies), in front of the “classical” panorama of the city in which one can see the silhouette of Saint Peter’s Basilica. After painting the garden, the artist has populated it with fictitious people in a composition that is worthy of an historical painting.