This print is Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s Veduta della Piazza della Rotunda etched in 1751. This was a part of the 1747 series, called Vedute di Roma (Views of Rome), in which he etched several plates showing historical monuments and notable landmarks in the city. This etching of the Pantheon, completed in 1751, interestingly does not place central emphasis on the Pantheon itself, but rather, more on its surroundings. In this particular work, Piranesi provides more of a historical and environmental context for the monuments depicted.
The value of this etching lies in its portrayal of the Pantheon as Piranesi saw it. Here the Pantheon and the Obelisk are immersed within the context of everyday Rome, surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the lively piazza. Fish markets, horse-drawn carriages, and shoppers divert the attention from the grandiose monuments and reveal its casual interaction with Piranesi’s contemporary society.