Artist: Antonio Visentini
© RIBA Library Drawings and Archives Collections
In this image, Antonio Visentini has reduced the Pantheon to an essay in line and shadow. There are no figures or other buildings to give a sense of scale. This drawing was made for academic study and drawn as the master image for an engraving that would be published in books on Rome or architecture. Engravings required specific types of line and line weight in order to register correctly when the image was printed, explaining why the light and shadow are rendered so crisply.
With the advent of quality image reproduction, the influence of Rome spread beyond just the circle of those who could afford to visit in person. Students who did not embark on a Grand Tour may have used guidebooks heavily laden with these types of engravings to educate themselves on world architecture.