Titus Manlius Torquatus, from the series The Roman Heroes
Renaissance representation of classical ruins was a symbol of antiquity, enlightenment, and lost knowledge. Ruins spoke to the passage of time. The greatest subject for ruin artists was the overgrown and crumbling Classical Rome remains. Forum and the Colosseum, Pantheon, and the Appian Way. Initially, art representations of Rome were realistic, but soon the imagination of artists took flight. Roman ruins were scattered around the city, but frustrated artists began placing them in more pleasing arrangements. Capriccio was a style of imaginary scenes of buildings and ruins.
Since the 16th century, Dutch artists used prints to promote their art and access a wider public than what was possible for a single painting. During the Dutch Golden Age, (17th century), Dutch artists perfected the techniques of etching and engraving. The rise of printmaking in the Netherlands is attributed to a connection between Italy and the Netherlands during the 1500s. Together with the large-scale production, it allowed the expanding reach of an artist’s work. Prints were popular as collecting items, so publishing houses commissioned artists to create a drawing or a painting, and then print the work for collectors - similar to what occurs at publishing houses today. Dutch printmaking evolved rapidly, so in 16th-century etching prevailed over the engraving. Major Dutch Printmaker Artists: Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Hendrick Goltzius, Rembrandt van Rijn, Anna Maria van Schurman, Adriaen Jansz van Ostade, Ferdinand Bol.