Artistic Itch: The City of Echoes in Two Masterpieces

Cognitive Itching

Rome is the city of echoes, the city of illusions, and the city of yearning
Giotto di Bondone

Rome, the focal point of the world at some many points in history, has always captivated the imagination of artists. From depictions of it in the glorified heydays of the Roman Empire to the bastion of Antiquity to the newly ancient-modern fusion we have before us today, Rome in all its splendour is a difficult task to put under the paintbrush. Yet, in my mind, one artist captures so fascinatingly, in stokes of genius inspiration, the essence of a forever changing ‘city of illusion’ like nobody else.

The artist known as Giovanni Paolo Panini (1691-1765) — no Earl-of-Sandwich-esque relation to the culinary snack I hasten to add — was born to a modest family in Piacenza along the banks of the River Trebbia. Not much is known of his early life…

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