Piranesi’s engraving of the Arco di Portogallo

The “Arco di Portogallo” or “Arch of Portugal”, so called because it was located in the Corso in Rome near the residence of the Portugese ambassador, was demolished in 1662.  I had never heard of it, I confess, until Anna Blennow tweeted an engraving by Piranesi.  It stood near the Palazzo Fiano.  It seems to have been a late edifice, perhaps of the time of Marcus Aurelius, perhaps later.

Let’s enjoy this image of another bit of vanished Rome.

Online: Free .pdf version of Lanciani’s “Forma Urbis Romae”

Ste Trombetti draws my attention to the existence of a PDF of 19th century archaeologist R. Lanciani’s map of ancient Rome.  It’s here.

It zooms really nicely too…


Here’s a mirror of the PDF.

A cork model of the arch of Titus in Rome

A delightful illustrated article here about reconstructing the appearance of ancient Rome.  One item in it caught my eye:

Arch of Titus - Cork model by Antonio Chichi

The article adds:

Among the most useful visual resources for studying the ancient city are the  physical models which, since the eighteenth century, architects started to  provide to help scholars and students better understand the ancient remains.

The pioneer was the famous cork-modeler, Antonio Chichi, who lived from 1743  to 1816. He created a set of 36 of the great sites of ancient Rome. Sold to  Grand Tourists, they served as souvenirs but also as study aids (cf. Wilton  and Bignamini 1996: 298) analogous to plaster casts of famous Greek and Roman  statues, which, not coincidentally, as Giuseppe Pucci has shown, also came  into vogue at this time (Pucci 1997).

As can be seen in the case of the model  of the Arch of Titus (fig. 9), Chichi’s reproductions were state models, not reconstructions:  that is, they showed the current condition of the monument.

In the example at  hand, we thus see the arch still embedded within the Frangipane tower before  Valadier’s restoration of the early nineteenth century.