17th Century

Lauro illustration Arch for Titus

Lauro's illustration of the Arch for Titus

Giacomo Lauro was an Italian engraver and printer active in the late 16th to mid 17th century and is best known for his engravings of various views of Rome. This depiction of the Arch for Titus is part of his series, Splendore dell’antica e moderna Roma, which illustrates many of the historic monuments of ancient and modern Rome.

Lauro’s depiction of the arch is more imagined than it is accurate. In his view, an isolated, fully constructed arch is seen free of surrounding debris and any signs of decay.  In reality, the arch was closer to a ruin at this time and was embedded in an adjacent building that caused significant structural problems. This ruinous state can be seen in Piranesi's etchings from the 18th century.  There are some details of the arch in this engraving that are relatively accurate, specifically the central third of the arch, which was the only original part of the monument surviving in Lauro's time.