The Arch of Constantine

Samuel Prout, 1840s early probably

WAG 1074

About this object

This view is an example of a capriccio painting. This term is used to describe works that combine real and imagined architecture and topography to create fantasy views. This watercolour is based on the ruins of the east end of the Arch of Constantine in the Forum in Rome, Italy. Prout has altered the appearance of the Arch by moving the round relief sculpture higher up the ruin and adding in the additional archway beneath it.

Prout began to make capriccio paintings and watercolours later in his career. This view was probably made in the early 1840s. A label on the back of the watercolour's original frame suggests the painting may have been exhibited at the Old Watercolour Society in 1843.

Object specifics

  • Other title(s)
    The Arch of Constantine
  • Artist(s)
    Samuel Prout (British: English, born:1783-09-17, died:1852-02-10)
  • Date
    1840s early probably
  • Materials
    Watercolour; Paper
  • Measurements
    31.7 x 24.3 cm
  • Physical description
    A group of figures stand beneath the architectural ruins of a classical building composed of several columns and a roof. The roof is decorated with sculptures of men on either side and a circular relief sculpture facing the viewer. Smaller architectural fragements, including sections of decorated columns, litter the foreground. Other ruins are visible in the distance.
  • Related people
    Eliza Jane Brocklehurst (Previous owner) ; Samuel Prout (Artist/maker)
  • Other number(s)
    WAG Inventory Number: 1074
  • Credit line
    Bequeathed to the Walker Art Gallery by Mrs Eliza Brocklehurst in 1923
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Collection
    From the Walker Art Gallery collections

Explore related


  • Early English Drawings and Watercolours in the Walker Art Gallery

    Edward Morris & Timothy Stevens

    Author: Edward Morris & Timothy Stevens
    Publisher: Liverpool Letterpress Limited, Member of the Steel House Press
    Date: 1968
    Description: Catalogue of Early English Drawings and Watercolours in the Walker Art Gallery collection


Previous owners

  • Eliza Jane Brocklehurst

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1923
    Disposal method: Bequeathed to the Walker Art Gallery in 1923


Item inscriptions

  • Inscription text: The Arch of Constantine / Rome / Painted by Samuel Prout
    Inscription method: Label
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Backing
  • Inscription text: SP (configuration)
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Front; Lower right
  • Inscription text: OWS 1843 NO.136 / 1850 338
    Inscription method: Label
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location:
Object view = Fine Art
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