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Caspar van WitteI was one of the Northern European painters working in Rome in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. This view of the Piazza Navona gives particular prominence to three architectural projects involved in the remodelling of the square by Pope Innocent X: on the left, the reconstruction of the Pamphili family palace and the church of Sant'Agnese in Agone, completed by Borromini; and in the centre of the composition, facing the church, Bernini's Four Rivers fountain. Van Wittel's paintings provided a description of the modern city. His urban vistas reflected rational principles of perception and construction of perspective, characteristic features that are apparent in his many surviving preparatory drawings.

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