During his time in Rome 1813-16 Eckersberg painted many scenes showing the city’s ancient ruins, particularly the Colosseum. He chose several sections from the building’s interior; from the third storey he painted the view of Rome as seen through three arches. He painstakingly depicted everything he saw down to the last detail. The view is a construct, however; the arches have allowed him to link up three slightly separate views, leaving out less interesting areas to create a new, harmonious whole. Eckersberg made a new departure within Danish art by beginning to paint in the open air in Rome, and he completed the painting on site in front of his subject. He undoubtedly used binoculars to reproduce the background details.
(Text courtesy of the National Gallery of Denmark; Image CC BY 3.0).