Feb 8, 2007

Ruins of an Ancient City

Ruins of an Ancient City

c. 1810–20

John Martin

(British, 1789–1854)

Oil on paper, mounted on canvas

Framed: 118.5 x 142 x 8 cm (46 5/8 x 55 7/8 x 3 1/8 in.); Unframed: 95.6 x 118.6 cm (37 5/8 x 46 11/16 in.)

Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1981.13



The painting depicts an imagined scene of a ruined ancient city bathed in the nostalgic glow of twilight. The artist's detailed, almost archeological, interest in these Greek or Roman buildings is characteristic of neoclassicism, although the composition—which plunges suddenly from the foreground into a deep valley—and dramatic lighting are typical of Romantic painting.


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