Untitled (Ancona with a View of the Arch of Trajan)

Accession Number

Untitled (Ancona with a View of the Arch of Trajan)

Samuel Prout

Artist Nationality
British (modern)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
watercolor, bodycolor, ink on paper

8 5/8 in x 6 3/4 in (21.91 cm x 17.15 cm);4 in x 2 1/2 in (10.16 cm x 6.35 cm);8 5/8 in x 6 3/4 in (21.91 cm x 17.15 cm);7 7/8 in x 6 1/16 in (20 cm x 15.4 cm)

Credit Line
Joseph F. McCrindle Collection

Subject matter
The talented draughtsman and watercolorist Samuel Prout produced this view of the Arch of Trajan in Ancona, a port on the Adriatic Sea, from sketches he made during one of his tours of Italy between 1824 and 1830. Although the precise date of this watercolor is unknown, Prout probably created it after returning to England, perhaps even decades after his visit, which was a typical practice at the time. The watercolor persuasively situates the viewer before one of the most famous monuments of Ancona through the use of linear perspective, which visually anchors the viewer in the street before the arch. The carefully composed view of the port and city beyond includes a glimpse of the domed cathedral of Saint Ciriaco at the top of the hill on the opposite shore.
This image was reproduced as a steel engraving and published in "The Work of Byron with a Life and Illustrative Notes" (1850) by William Anderson, thus providing readers of the book with a view of the city in which Lord Byron, the famous and controversial poet, had spent time during his self-imposed exile from England.

Physical Description
This small watercolor shows the view of an arch by a city waterfront. A wall closes off the left side of the street leading up to the arch, and creates a powerful sense of recession into space leading from the foreground to the monument in the middle distance. Scattered figures inhabit the street. Beyond the arch may be glimpsed the waters of a bay and a hill rising above the far shore.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type

Collection Area

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bays (bodies of water)
cityscapes (representations)
landscapes (representations)
perspective (technique)
triumphal arches (memorial arches)
watercolors (paintings)

2 Related Resources

Monuments and Memorials
(Part of 4 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

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