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Vedyta dekka Piazza del Popolo verso Mezzogiorno (View of Piazza del Popolo before Noon), 1815-1820
Etching. 302 x 394 mm
Inventory number: E575
Everyone travelling to Rome from the north would arrive in the city through the Porta del Popolo. After passing through any police check, they would find themselves in the Piazza del Popolo. There is an Egyptian obelisk in the centre of this square, erected at the end of the 16th century. And the view beyond it opens up to a vista of the city. This is seen between Carlo Rainaldi’s (1611-91) two churches from 1662, with identical cupolas and porticoes. In building these churches, Rainaldi created a kind of gateway to the three streets which since Antiquity have spread like a fan from the Piazza del Popolo: the Via del Babuino, Via del Corso and Via di Ripetta. Thorvaldsen also customarily left and entered Rome through the Piazza del Popolo. For instance, the Polizia di Roma notes that he went through the Porta del Popolo on 6.11.1832 at midnight. He was then returning to Rome after spending a few months in northern Italy.
The etcher Filippo Giuntotardi worked using graphic techniques from 1810. And this etching could well have been done between 1816 and 1820. It was during these years that the new plans for the area by Giuseppe Valadier (1762-1839), the official architect to the Papal States, were put into effect.