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The Colosseum

Year: 1932
Material: watercolor
Dimensions: 38 x 51 cm

Roman Elegies
Say, stones, to me, oh say, their high palaces!
Street talk, a word! Genius, you are not upset you?
Yes, everything is animated in your holy walls.
Eternal Rome, and only me everything is silent so silent.
O, who whispers to me, to behold what window I
Once the sweet creature that refreshes me scorching?
Ahn 'I have not the means by which I over and over
To go to her and by her, the delicious opfre time?
Still I church 'and considered palace ruins and pillars
As a thoughtful man becoming used to travel.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

Italy was German travelers since the Renaissance to the early 20th Century as an almost myth. Particularly on visual artists practicing Italy and Rome in particular is a fascinating phenomenon from. The "Eternal City" was regarded for centuries as the epitome of secular and Christian history as the "Caput Mundi" and "cosmos in miniature." In Rome, you follow in the footsteps of the ancient, medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods. Goethe was held in Rome on his "Italian Journey" to himself, here he is "consistent" with themselves and become "happy and reasonable."

The "Society for drawing skills," Nuremberg in 1933, the exhibition showed "Fritz Griebel - Italy travel". At sixty, 1929-1933 created watercolors and drawings, silhouettes presumably, have been presented here. Maybe part of it also the image presented here.

The ruins of the Coliseum is still an impressive example of Roman Nutzarchitektur dar. built 72-80 AD among the "Flavian Amphitheater" the largest amphitheater in the ancient world and the largest enclosed building of ancient Rome. The name goes back to a colossal statue of Nero that stood near the amphitheater.

The ellipse-shaped ground plan has the outer dimensions of 188 x 156 m, the amount of the arena 86 x 54 m. To the Coliseum, specifies a 17.5 m wide with travertine keystones, probably used for the isolation measures wurden.Die 48.5 m high outer wall is divided into four floors. The lower three floors of gray travertine pillars on each show eighty Arkadanbögen with pre-screen half-columns, which are held from the bottom to the top of the Doric, Ionic and Corinthian style, the style of Greek temples. On the fourth floor consoles are attached, which should include the poles for the awning (velum).

In the arena took place during the imperial era gladiator fights and animal hunts. Every free citizen of Rome had free access to these bloody shows. To almost all the games included the execution of convicts, especially by the "ad damnatio bestias," death by wild animals. Since 1999, the Coliseum serves on the initiative of several human rights organizations as a monument against the death penalty.

Colosseum, April 2007 (Photo: David Iliff)
Facade over the entrance (Photo: David Iliff)

Fritz Griebel, who traveled to Italy throughout his life, left us a very interesting look at the ancient ruins. A huge stone blocks the view of almost moved today for the ancient monument located in Rome. He painted his picture out of a very exciting spectator perspective: it shows the three rows of arches and hinted the fourth floor of the facade and the two inside barrel-vaulted corridors behind the facade below. In the gaps were the complex, but created with the utmost convenience stair systems. Griebel us therefore demonstrates the breaking point between the outer wall and inner corridors.

Kolosseum in 1858 with Meta sudans.

Right from the Coliseum is the so-called meta Sudan, a fountain, which stands in a pool, a conical Meta (turning point of a Roman Circus); of their head from the water ran into the basin. Until 1936, four years after Griebel painted this picture, there was this fountain.

The architectural drawing Griebel was probably as a travel sketch that goes, however, due to their sophisticated Kompostion about the status of a design. Foreground and background are interrelated. The large stone blocks is a reference to the ruins of the Colosseum. The stone blocks can be read as an index, which alludes to the ancient past of Rome. With this artistic gambit succeeds Fritz Griebel on the metalevel of Rome to recall the past and present, and simultaneously play a very evocative impression of Rome.