View of the Septimus Severus, 1772

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The Arch of Septimus Severus, dedicated in the year 203 CE, was a tribute to Rome’s military exploits. If it appears rather squat here, it’s because by Piranesi’s time repeated floods had deposited about 15 feet of dirt and debris on the ground around it. The arch suffered other indignities as well. Emperor Septimus Severus had it built to commemorate his own military victories and those of his two sons, Caracalla and Geta. After his death the two sons ruled jointly, but within a year Caracalla had Geta assassinated and had his brother’s likeness and name chiseled off the monument.

View of the Septimus Severus
Artist Life
Italian, 1720–1778
Accession Number
Catalogue Raisonne
Hind 099 i/iii; F.754; C.773; W-E.232
Curator Approved

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