The Mazza Collection: Art From and Inspired By the Greatest Structures in History

A Project of the Art Institute of Chicago

Stonehenge, John Constable, 1835 (painted) - 1835, From the collection of: The Victoria and Albert Museum
This 1835 watercolor by John Constable depicts the Stonehenge monument in Salisbury Plain, England. Note the tall standing stones in the center of the work, an excellent example of post and lintel.
Stonehenge at Sunset, after John Constable, 1776–1837, British, unknown artist, 1836, From the collection of: Yale Center for British Art
This 1836 oil-on-paper-on-board painting by John Constable depicts Stonehenge in its greater environment. Note how the standing stones are sharply contrasted with the sky, forming a skyline silhouette.
Wall nail, Unknown, -1340/-1300, From the collection of: Rijksmuseum van Oudheden
From the storerooms of the great temple ziggurat in Chogha Zanbil, Iran. The exact use of this earthenware object is unclear, but is is thought to have had some architectural purpose. With inscription.
One of the best-known works of Babylonian architecture. This is the inner gate of the city and features reliefs of different animals symbolic of various gods. The gate is coated in lapis lazuli.
Human-headed winged bull and winged lion (lamassu), Unknown, ca. 883–859 B.C., From the collection of: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Created from gyspsum alabaster, this is a stone representation of a mythical creature that protected Assyrian leaders. These were placed on either side of the entrance to the palace to inspire awe.
The Sphinx, the Great Pyramid and two lesser Pyramids, Ghizeh, Egypt, Francis Bedford, 1862, From the collection of: Royal Collection Trust, UK
This 1862 photograph by Francis Bedford depicts the Sphinx and Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. This picture shows the landmarks in relatively stable condition, as they were when built, though decay is apparent.
The Great Temple of Amon Karnak, The Hypostyle Hall, David Roberts, 1796–1864, British, 1838, From the collection of: Yale Center for British Art
A depiction of the Hypostyle Hall in the Temple of Amon Karnak, which is famous for its columns. "Watercolor and gouache with scratching out and graphite on moderately thick, slightly textured, beige wove paper"
Temple Relief with Royal Marines, Unknown, New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, reign of Hatshepsut, ca. 1470 - 1460 B.C., From the collection of: Cincinnati Art Museum
The wall relief comes from the mortuary temple of Hatshepsut, the first female leader of Egypt. It depicts two sailors of the Royal Egyptian Navy. When placed with the rest of the wall, they lead a procession.
The Lion Gate at Mycenae, Underwood & Underwood, 1897, From the collection of: Benaki Museum of Greek Civilization
This 1897 photograph of the Lion Gate at Mycenae in Greece provides an excellent viewpoint from which to observe the corbelled arch of the gate.
The Lion Gate at Mycenae, Du Moncel Theodore, 1845, From the collection of: Benaki Museum of Greek Civilization
This lithograph print provides an excellent view of the entire Lion Gate in the context of its larger environment. The humans in the print provide a scale by which the size of the gate can be measured.
The tomb of Agamemnon at Mycenae, Underwood & Underwood, 1897, From the collection of: Benaki Museum of Greek Civilization
The Acropolis from the Southwest, Athens, Dimitrios Constantin (Greek, active 1858 - 1860s), 1865, From the collection of: The J. Paul Getty Museum
This 1865 print from the Greek photographer Dimitrios Constantin shows the decaying structures of the Acropolis. Note the Parthenon, still mostly intact, and the large stone walls of the fortress.
Propylon of Athena sanctuary in Pergamon, Unknown, 2nd century BCE, From the collection of: Pergamonmuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
This room displays some of the highlights of Greek Hellenistic architecture from all three capitals, Ionic, Doric, and Corinthian. Most notable is the facade from the Temple of Athena on the Acropolis
The winged Goddess Nike adjusting her sandal., Unknown, Around 410 BC, From the collection of: Acropolis Museum
Part of the decorated parapet that surrounded the temple of Athena Nike, this relief is a staple of sculpture of the time. Note the folds in the robes and the realism they bring to the relief.
The Temple of Athena Nike. View from the North-East, Werner Carl-Friedrich, 1877, From the collection of: Benaki Museum of Greek Civilization
This watercolor shows the Temple of Athena Nike in 1877, just after Greece had freed itself from the Ottoman Empire. Note the Ionic Columns and the people loitering around the temple, they can be used as scale.
Two heads from the Parthenon, Unknown, From the collection of: National Museum of Denmark
These heads come from the back metope of the Parthenon, a scene which depicted a battle between centaurs and the Lapiths.
Architectural Relief Depicting the Gigantomachy (Battle between Gods and Giants), Etruscan, 3rd–2nd century B.C., From the collection of: The Art Institute of Chicago
This Architectural Relief comes from the Art Institute's own collection. Made from terracotta, like most Etruscan architecture, this relief depicts two battling gods and a Giant.
Trajan's column, Unknown, 113 (made)ca. 1864 (cast) - 113, From the collection of: The Victoria and Albert Museum
This 1864 plaster cast of Trajan's column in Rome captures the essence of the original quite well. The spiral registers of the column contain relief which depict Trajan's victories and glories.
Scale model of the Flavian Amphitheatre (Colosseum), Italo Gismondi, 1900/1950, From the collection of: Museo della Civiltà Romana
This scale model of the Flavian Amphitheatre (Colosseum) shows it as a complete structure, with poles mounted on top to afix the sunshade. Note the different orders on different levels and concrete construction.
Interior of the Pantheon, Rome, Giovanni Paolo Panini, c. 1734, From the collection of: National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
This painting is specially designed to give a more complete view of the interior of the Pantheon than is possible from inside. The painting offers a clear view of the coffered ceiling and oculus.
Interior of St. Peter's Illuminated, Francesco Panini, before 1787, From the collection of: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
This drawing looks down the nave of the Basilica-planned Old St. Peter's. Attention has been paid to minute architectural details, and the apse and cross at the end of the nave are clearly visible.
Interior of St. Peter's Illuminated, Louis-Jean Desprez, 1776-1784, From the collection of: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
This drawing shows St. Peter's on Holy Thursday. Close examination reveals Corinthian columns and other architectural details.
Hagia Sophia, Şevket Dağ (Turkish, 1876-1944), 1906, From the collection of: Sakıp Sabancı Museum
This 1906 oil on canvas shows some architectural aspects of the Hagia Sophia. Note the domes and geometric designs of Islamic art, the building was originally a mosque. Byzantine blending of East and West.
Taj Mahal, 1874, From the collection of: Archaeological Survey of India
1874 side view of the Taj Mahal, the grandest work of Islamic architecture.
Taj Mahal, 1898, From the collection of: Archaeological Survey of India
1898 photo of the Taj Mahal, the grandest work of Islamic architecture.
Western Elevation of Taj Gate, From the collection of: Archaeological Survey of India
This drawing allows for a closer study of the architectural design of the Taj Mahal. Note the minarets and other Islamic design cues.
Taj Mahal, 2014, From the collection of: Archaeological Survey of India
Modern photo of the Taj Mahal, showing the Islamic design points still intact.
St. Stephen’s Purse, Unknown, 0800/0830, From the collection of: Treasury, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien
This very detailed goldwork purse of the Ottonian period in Europe was placed in Palatine Chapel of Aachen in Germany during coronation celebrations.
Saint Michael Battling the Dragon, Unknown, probably 1170s, From the collection of: The J. Paul Getty Museum
This piece of illuminated manuscript depicts St. Michael, the patron saint of St. Michael’s of Hildesheim Church in Germany, fighting demons as part of the battle predicted in the book of Revelations.
Durham Cathedral and Castle, Thomas Girtin (British, 1775 - 1802), about 1800, From the collection of: The J. Paul Getty Museum
This Watercolor over pencil heightened with gum arabic was created in 1800. The work depicts the Durham Cathedral in England, which was designed to double as a fortress. The Cathedral is a masterpiece of Romanequse design.
The Quai Saint-Michel and Notre-Dame, Maximilien Luce, 1901, From the collection of: Musée d’Orsay, Paris
This oil on canvas pictures the famous Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. Note the Gothic design points and the enormity of the cathedral, as manifested by the way it dwarfs the people standing before it.
Interior of a Gothic Church, Neeffs, Peeter the elder, c.1630s, From the collection of: Dulwich Picture Gallery
This painting does a good job of capturing the essence of the Gothic interior.
Tower of Kings at Rheims, Henri Le Secq (French, 1818 - 1882), 1851, From the collection of: The J. Paul Getty Museum
This photo provides a view of the Gothic design details of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Rheims, France.
View of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Johann Georg von Dillis, 1817, From the collection of: Kunstpalast
View depicting the dome of St. Peter's in the distance.
View through a Baroque Colonnade into a Garden, 1760-1768, Antonio Canal, called Canaletto, 1760-1768, From the collection of: Albertina
Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor, Zhang Weikang Zhang Yan Yang Lidong Zhang Yongkang, 2008, From the collection of: The Sand Museum
Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor, Zhang Weikang Zhang Yan Yang Lidong Zhang Yongkang, 2008, From the collection of: The Sand Museum
Angkor Wat, Leonardo Ugolini, 2013, From the collection of: The Sand Museum
Autumn in the Forbidden City- West Winding Corridor of Taihe Palace, Hong Lei, 2005, From the collection of: Today Art Museum
Charleston Drawing Room, Unknown, 1772, From the collection of: Minneapolis Institute of Art
Baroque and Rococo”, Franz Matsch, 1891, From the collection of: Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien
Westminster Center of politics and the history of London, Leonardo Ugolini, 2012, From the collection of: The Sand Museum
Opera, Saul Steinberg, 1953, From the collection of: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
England, Shropshire, Ironbridge and reflection in River Severn, Paul Thompson, 2006-04-25, From the collection of: Getty Images
The Saint-Lazare Station, Claude Monet, 1877, From the collection of: Musée d’Orsay, Paris
Arrival of the Normandy Train, Gare Saint-Lazare, Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926), 1877, From the collection of: The Art Institute of Chicago
The Quai Saint-Michel and Notre-Dame, Maximilien Luce, 1901, From the collection of: Musée d’Orsay, Paris
Rouen Cathedral, West Façade, Sunlight, Claude Monet, 1894, From the collection of: National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
Untitled (Seine and Eiffel Tower), 20th century, From the collection of: Dallas Museum of Art
The Eiffel Tower, Robert Delaunay, 1909/1910, From the collection of: Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe
Mies Vanderrohe, Frank Scherschel, 1956-07, From the collection of: LIFE Photo Collection
Capitol, Washington, D.C. 1826, Henry and James Stone, 1826, From the collection of: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
United States Capitol Building, Francis Miller, 1967-11-04, From the collection of: LIFE Photo Collection
Capitol Building Washington D.C., Henry Groskinsky, 1966-07-15, From the collection of: LIFE Photo Collection
Albert Fenn, 1952-06, From the collection of: LIFE Photo Collection
1932, From the collection of: LIFE Photo Collection
1930, From the collection of: LIFE Photo Collection
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