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The Apotheosis of Romulus: Design for a Ceiling

The Apotheosis of Romulus: Design for a Ceiling

c. 1675-76

Domenico Maria Canuti

(Italian, 1625-1684)

Black chalk, pen and brown ink, brown wash, heightened with white, with perspectival indications

Sheet: 24 x 37.7 cm (9 7/16 x 14 13/16 in.)

Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund 2017.104


Domenico Maria Canuti made this design for a quadratura ceiling fresco in preparation for a commission at the Palazzo Altieri in Rome. Quadratura describes painting in which architectural elements are painted to appear to be part of the real architectural setting. Canuti focused on establishing the visual coherence between the figures, portraying the deification of Rome’s founder, and the painted architecture by drawing perspective lines at 90-degree and 45-degree angles. The perfectly rendered 24-point stars at the edge of the painted architecture were emblems of the Altieri family.

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