Blondel, Georges Francois
A couple admiring a circular Roman temple and other ruins
Georges-François’s drawings tend to be charming capricci in the tradition established by Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–1778) and Hubert Robert (1733–1808). Piranesi’s collections of engravings of Roman views, which began to be published in the 1760s, undeniably impacted Blondel’s artistic vision. Accordingly, Blondel’s scenes often combine fantastic settings or fictitious juxtapositions with ancient Italian monuments and ruins. These elements lend his drawings a striking quality, and just like the figures in the current composition illustrate, exploring the different characteristics of ruins is an engaging visual exercise. Not surprisingly, the imaginative aspects of the works of all three of these artists were popular at the time.