"Horse race during the carnival in Rome" colored etching early 19th cent.

"Horse race during the carnival in Rome" colored etching Horace Vernet19th cent.
"Horse race during the carnival in Rome" colored etching early 19th cent. Horace Vernet
"Horse race during the carnival in Rome" colored etching Horace Vernet19th cent.
"Horse race during the carnival in Rome" colored etching early 19th cent. Horace Vernet

"Horse race during the carnival in Rome" colored etching early 19th cent.

4,000.00

The Race of the Horses in Rome

Jean-Pierre-Marie Jazet
French, 1788-1871
After Horace Vernet
French, 1789-1863
The Race of the Horses in Rome, 1820
Han colored aquatint on wove paper with original gilt stucco frame.
Image: 71.1 x 100.3 cm (28 x 39 1/2 inches)

Carnival season offered a variety of pageantry and spectacles in every Italian city, and tourists timed their travels to correspond with this and other major religious and public holidays. This image, a large aquatint based on an original painting by Horace Vernet (now lost), captures the energy and excitement of the spectacular climax of Carnival festivities in Rome, when wild steeds were turned loose in the Piazza del Popolo to dash down the long, straight via del Corso (the Street of the Race). Here we see the final moments before the start, as muscular trainers, known as barbareschi, struggle to organize the horses. Crowds of aristocrats in comfortable box seats, peasants in carnival masks, and, high on the right, a group of young men in top hats, probably foreign artists, fill the surrounding bleachers to watch this heroic struggle between man and beast. Vernet depicted the race with both the detail of a costume picture and the grandeur and complexity of a monumental history painting, showing the plaza from an angle that highlights the Villa Medici, the home of the French Academy in Rome, on the hill beyond.

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