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Inside the Colosseum

A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.


c. 1823


Franz Ludwig Catel
German, 1778-1856

About this artwork

A shaft of sunlight illuminates a group of figures dwarfed by the monumental architecture of the Colosseum, the ancient amphitheater in Rome. The building had fallen into disrepair for centuries until restorations began in 1822, the year before Franz Ludwig Catel made this painting.

In the foreground, a figure identifiable as architect Giuseppe Valadier bows slightly while presenting plans to the red-stockinged Cardinal Ercole Consalvi at left. In the background, two workers carry a sack filled with rubble from the Colosseum’s depths, visually representing the labor involved in the project.


On View, Gallery 221


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Franz Ludwig Catel


Inside the Colosseum


Germany (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on canvas


100.4 × 137.5 cm (39 1/2 × 58 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Through prior gift of Mr. and Mrs. Chauncey B. Borland

Reference Number


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