Nov 15, 2011

Outer Staircase of a Gothic Ruin

Outer Staircase of a Gothic Ruin


Domenico Quaglio

(German, 1787–1837)

Gray and brown wash and framing lines in pen and black ink

Watermarks: Whatman/Turkey Mill

Support: Cream wove paper

Sheet: 24.1 x 16.8 cm (9 1/2 x 6 5/8 in.); Image: 23.2 x 15.2 cm (9 1/8 x 6 in.)

Anonymous gift in honor of Leona E. Prasse 1980.218

Catalogue raisonné: Trost 195


Did you know?

Gothic architecture, the type seen in this drawing, was associated with Germany based on a false assumption that a Germanic tribe, the Goths, had originated the style.


Rejecting the preference for the landscape and architecture of Italy, as seen in the work of many of his contemporaries, Domenico Quaglio portrayed the buildings of his native Germany. Here, Quaglio depicted a man, woman, and child who are dwarfed by the immense scale of a Gothic cathedral’s ruined arch, within which the figures appear. Overrun by vines and set within a dense forest, the architecture signifies the magnitude of God in the Christian faith and the smallness of mankind.

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