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Untitled (Ruins of Roman Forum)

A work made of albumen print.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of albumen print.


c. 1867


Robert MacPherson
Scottish, 1811–1872

About this artwork

Abandoning medical studies in his native Edinburgh, Robert MacPherson traveled to Rome in 1840 to try his hand as a landscape painter. His move coincided with a rise in tourism to Italy, in particular to the country’s classical monuments. MacPherson took up photography in 1851 to capitalize on this burgeoning tourist trade, and he soon gained success as a landscape photographer producing deluxe views for British customers. MacPherson has carefully omitted signs of the present in this image of the Forum, such as traffic, local Italians, and commercial vendors, to focus instead on a mythic past for buyers eager to own a piece of Western civilization.


Currently Off View


Photography and Media


Robert MacPherson


Untitled (Ruins of Roman Forum)


Scotland (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.

Made 1862–1872


Albumen print


Image/paper: 31.5 × 40.2 cm (12 7/16 × 15 7/8 in.); Mount: 46.4 × 64.1 cm (18 5/16 × 25 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of David C. and Sarajean Ruttenberg

Reference Number


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