Embankment of the Tiber (Walls of Tarquin), 1776

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The Tiber River runs through the heart of Rome. Here Piranesi treats us to a scenic view of the arched opening where the Cloaca Maxima, the great sewer of Rome, discharges its waste. Fortunately, we are upstream! Piranesi’s middle-of-the-river vantage point is the southern tip of the only island in the Tiber. In his inscription, Piranesi credits Tarquinius Superbus (r. 535–509 BCE), the last king of the Romans, with constructing the embankments, but that has not been proven. The round building with the columns and conical roof is the Temple of Hercules the Victor, from the late 100s BCE.

Embankment of the Tiber (Walls of Tarquin)
Artist Life
Italian, 1720–1778
Accession Number
Catalogue Raisonne
Hind 125 i/iii
Curator Approved

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