Dominique Barrière

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Dominique Barrière
approximately 1618-1678
View of Rome
ca. 1649
Pen and brown ink, gray-brown wash, over black chalk, double-ruled border in pen and dark brown ink, on three sheets of paper pieced together.
sheet: 17 x 45 1/4 inches (431 x 1170 mm); design area: 16 1/8 x 44 3/8 inches (408 x 1175 mm)
Gift of John Herring.

Watermark: none.
Although born in Marseille, Barriere traveled to Rome and spent the majority of his career there, part of the circle of French artists around Claude Lorrain and Nicolas Poussin. About thirty drawings by Barriere, mostly landscapes and seaports, are known today. He excelled as an engraver of landscape views, and contributed plates to volumes devoted to the Villa Aldobrandini (1647-52) and the Villa Pamphilj (1648-50), and served as Borromini's engraver for his Opus architectonicum (1658-62).
This panorama is taken from the Porta San Paolo (the ancient porta ostiensis) alongside the pyramid of Gaius Cestius (seen at left). At center is the heart of the city seen across the Tiber River. Rothlisberger identifies the many Roman monuments in the composition--the Aventine with Santa Maria del Priorato, the tower of S. Sabina, the Castel Sant'Angelo, the Farnese Palace, the cupolas of the Chiesa Nuova and S. Agnese, and the column of Marcus Aurelius. The arrangement of buildings would have been impossible to see in reality. Barriere's large-scale drawing is in fact a carefully crafted scene, not intended as an accurate depiction of the city but an independent, picturesque view. In 1649, Barriere produced a smaller print with a view of Rome that is more explicitly topographical than the present view.
While Marcel Roethlishberger does not doubt Barriere's authorship of the sheet, he noted that the signature, date, and inscription have been reinforced or incorrectly copied. Roethlisberger finds the date of 1641 too early for this ambitious sheet and suggests a date closer to Barriere's 1649 print.


Signed, inscribed and dated by the artist at lower center, in pen and brown ink, "Dominique Bariele [sic]/ Invem[sic]tor et fecit/ In Roumae [sic] 1641."

John Herring, New York.
Associated names: 

Herring, John, former owner.


Ryskamp, Charles, ed. Twentieth Report to the Fellows of the Pierpont Morgan Library, 1981-1983. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1984, p. 234
Roethlisberger, Marcel. “Dessins de Barriere et de Guillerot,” Gazette des beaux-arts, vol. 129, April 1987, 139-51.

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