The Arch of Constantine, Rome
The ruins of Ancient Rome had been a popular subject for artists travelling to Italy since the 16th century. Swanevelt visited Rome in 1629 and stayed there until 1641 when he moved to Paris. This work, executed while in France, is likely to have been painted from sketches, and demonstrates his dedication to this country, years after living there. The Arch of Constantine is depicted from the north-east, seen against the Palatine Hill as it is bathed in the sunlight of the rising sun. Swanevelt has captured great amounts of detail in the Arch's sculptural reliefs as well as the figures, dwarfed by the architecture as they stroll and sketch within it.