Panorama (Prospetto dell’alma città di Roma visto dal Monte Gianicolo) 1765

Etching. mm. 1025 X 264; in 18 sheets combined with keyed index of 390 entries
Courtesy Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles

Vasi Palazzo Corsini
Palazzo Corsini alla Lungara con Villa Corsini in alto (1751)

In 1765, Vasi published his famous panorama of Rome taken from the Janiculum hill in the casino of the garden of the Villa Corsini at the center of the print and nearly on the center of view of the entire print . This work, titled Prospetto di Città Roma visto dal Monte Gianicolo, shows a panoramic view of Rome looking northeast. It extends from St. Peter's Basilica (left) to the Fonte dell'Acqua Paola (right). Along the winding course of the Tiber, moving from left to right, one can see the Porto di Ripetta, Castel and Ponte S. Angelo, the Ponte Sisto (just to the south of Palazzo Farnese) followed by the Tiber Island. Domes ride like sails over the city’s dense fabric and include all the major churches including the flattened dome of the Pantheon at the percise center of the view. Moving to the distant landscape Vasi shows a grand sweep of hills and mountains including Monte Mario, Monte Soratte, and the Albans Hills. The towns of Caprarola (actually impossible to see from this vantage point), Tivoli, Palestrina, and Grotta Ferrata dot the hillsides. Vasi portrays himself in the near left foreground behind an unlikely fisherman where he is contentedly sketching the scene. At the very bottom of the panels, Vasi lists 390 sites and monuments. He uses the same numbering system here as he used in his guidebook, Itinerario istruttivo diviso in otto giornate per ritrovare con facilita tutte le antiche e moderne magnificenze di Roma, published two years earlier. In the lower left corner, on an antique slab, is a dedication to Charles III while at the bottom center is his coat of arms. In the bar that separates the base of the image from the list of sites and monuments, is a verse from the 64th epigram by the Roman poet Martial:

"The seven hills stand in majesty, and Rome is summed in one wide sweep of eye."

Translated H.E. Butler (1878-1951) Post-Augustan Poetry


Courtesy of the Getty Research Institute.

Jim Tice, Erik Steiner, Allan Ceen, and Dennis Beyer
Department of Architecture and InfoGraphics Lab, Department of Geography, University of Oregon
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