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Jacob Van Huchtenburg, View of Piazza Colonna
second half of the 17th century
Material and technique
oil on canvas
105 x 118 cm
Alessandro Zuccari
In the picturesque setting of Piazza Colonna in Rome, van Huchtenburg depicts a market with numerous small figures captured in various informal poses. The subject, which is typical of a widespread genre of painting, is also an excuse to depict the square around the tall column that was erected there in the second century AD to celebrate the achievements of Marcus Aurelius. The monument, which gives its name to the square, is set against a cloudy sky and is the real focal point of the painting. The painting is of some interest as it documents how the square appeared in the middle of the seventeenth century, although the dome of San Carlo al Corso on the right is not true to life; van Huchtenberg obviously knew of the plans to build it, but left Rome before construction work began.
Jacob was the oldest of the two van Huchtenburg brothers from Haarlem. He trained with Nicolaes Pieterszoon Berchem, who was well-known for his Italianate landscapes, and lived in Italy from 1662 to 1667. In Rome he was attracted to the work of the Bamboccianti, who painted scenes of everyday life with special emphasis on the fringes of society and the depiction of ancient ruins.
View of Piazza Colonna
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