Giovanni Paolo Panini (Italian, 1691-1765)
oil on canvas, Framed - h:147.50 w:120.00 d:5.00 cm (h:58 1/16 w:47 3/16 d:1 15/16 inches)
Unframed - h:127.00 w:97.80 cm (h:50 w:38 1/2 inches). Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1974.39
Created as a temple under the Roman emperor Hadrian around the year AD 125, the Pantheon became a Christian church in 609. Significant restoration took place in the early 1700s, a period of renewed attention to early Christian monuments. The site was a major monument of antiquity, an active church, and its portico, visible through the door, held the most important art fair in the city. Panini shows the complexity of this public space by representing foreign tourists, local churchgoers, Roman nobles, and artists mingling under the dome.