Daniel Huntington (American, 1816-1906),
Roman Ruins in Southern Italy
oil on canvas, 43 ½ x 63 ¼ in.; 110.5 x 160.66 cm
Gift of J.L. Brandeis and Sons Co., 1952.97
Though friends with Thomas Cole and other luminaries of the Hudson River School, Huntington mostly concentrated on portraiture, historical scenes, and allegories rather than landscape, making Joslyn’s landscape somewhat of an exception. The work was most likely begun during the artist’s stay in Rome between 1842 and 1845, where numerous artists gathered to study works of classical antiquity and practice their draftsmanship. The subject of Roman ruins in Arcadian settings was popular at the time, and Huntington’s inclusion here of a classical figure links it to works by contemporaries such as Cole. Indeed, that the painting was completed and exhibited the year of Cole’s death may indicate an homage to the renowned master.