Rome and its monuments

After a brief return to the city of Nancy in Lorraine in 1625-26, Claude never again left Rome. The papal city with its ancient ruins and modern buildings was a favorite subject for artists from northern Europe, but Claude was not really interested in topographic depictions; right from the start he favored atmospheric interpretations of sites and landscapes, to the extent that his drawings of buildings in Rome took liberties with reality. One rare exception is a view of Campo Vaccino, a faithful depiction of how the ancient Roman Forum looked in the 17th century. The painting was done for a former French ambassador to Rome, which probably explains its topographical accuracy. Claude was sufficiently pleased with the painting to have it reproduced as a print, but he soon stopped painting detailed depictions of sites.