Texts by Pierre Chessez, Francis Haskell
1985 / 162 PAGES
For the artists of the second half of the 18th century, Rome represented the promised land. In 1766, one of the many artists to arrive there was a Swiss painter: Abraham-Louis-Rodolphe Ducros, who from then on achieved fame and fortune as a great illustrator of Rome.
From 1750 onwards, painters, sculptors, engravers, architects, and antique dealers from all over Europe swarmed to Rome to study, admire and copy the remains of the capital of the Caesars and the monuments of the Christian faith.
In 1766, a Swiss painter who was just eighteen years old arrived in Rome and his only riches were sensitivity and imagination: Abraham-Louis-Rodolphe Ducros. With no academic background and an expertise only in topographical landscapes, he had to battle the fierce competition of his colleagues to build a clientele. Finally, in 1778, he was lucky enough to be hired by some Dutch gentlemen who were bound for the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Back in Rome, he shrewdly associated with the famous engraver Giovanni Volpato, and from then on garnered fame and fortune as an illustrator of the monuments and landscapes of Rome and its surroundings. At a time when this genre was growing in importance, Ducros' contribution was crucial: by painting in unusual dimensions he achieved grandiose effects that already prefigured the works of Turner and Girtin. This book is dedicated to the ruins of antiquity and the pictorial beauties of the Roman countryside.