A Gallery in the Colosseum in Rome
  • Francis E. Dodd
  • Holyhead/Wales 1874 - 1949 London
  • A Gallery in the Colosseum in Rome, ca. 1894
  • Watercolour on paper
  • signed with pencil on the lower right: Francis Dodd, collector’s mark on the lower left (Lugt suppl. 2600a)
  • 295 × 280 mm

Francis Dodd received his artistic education at the Glasgow School of Art. In 1893, he received the coveted Haldene fellowship, which enabled him to take a multi-year study trip around the European continent. Thus, in addition to France and Spain, Dodd also visited Italy, with all its landmarks and artistic monuments. In the meantime, watercolour painting became his preferred medium, which possessed a practical advantage while he was on the move.

The powerful and partially well-preserved inner arcades of the Colosseum had been a popular motif since the 17th century, especially for foreign artists in Rome who sought to capture the greatness of ancient architecture in their depictions. Dodd emphasizes these enormous proportions in the present sheet as well, by interposing a tourist couple with a parasol who nearly disappear on their stroll through the arena’s arcades. These structures’ massiveness is furthermore impressively highlighted through the monotony of colours of the stone and plaster.