St. Peter's, Looking Back on Rome




David Roberts, Scottish, British, 1796-1864


Object Info

Object: painting
Currently on view
Object ID: 2018.17


Oil paint on canvas


Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust

More Info


image height: 12 1/4 in, 31.1150 cm; image width: 30 in, 76.2000 cm; frame height: 16 1/8 in, 40.9575 cm; frame width: 33 7/8 in, 86.0425 cm; frame depth: 2 1/2 in, 6.3500 cm


European and American Art Before 1900


European and American Art Before 1900-European Art

Known Provenance

Given by the artist to Mrs. Joseph Arden; her estate sale, Christie’s, London, April 26, 1879, lot 39; from which acquired by Mr. Birch. Miss N. D. Stephenson. Christie’s, London, December 16, 1949, lot 43; from which acquired by (Spink Leger, London); from which acquired by Guy Meek, 1951; by descent to a private collector; her sale, Christie’s, London, November 8, 1996, lot 91; from which acquired by William M. B. Berger and Bernadette Johnson Berger, Denver; Berger Collection Educational Trust; gifted to the Denver Art Museum, 2018. Provenance research is on-going at the Denver Art Museum and we will post information as it becomes available. Please e-mail, if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.


David Roberts 
British, 1796–1864
St. Peter’s, Looking Back on Rome, 1855
Oil paint on canvas
Signed, dated, and inscribed by the artist at lower right, Presented to Mrs. Joseph Arden. A Souvenir / of her Visit to Rome. 1853 by David Roberts, R.A. 
Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust, 2018.17

Extended Info

Born near Edinburgh, Roberts came to be known as the “Scottish Canaletto” after the eighteenth-century Italian cityscape painter famed for his precise representations of cities and their buildings. For over two decades Roberts traveled through Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East making paintings and watercolors of architectural and topographical subjects. He painted this picture following a visit to Italy in 1853, the final stop of his travels before returning to London that year. For over a century such works had been enormously popular among British collectors as mementos of their Italian sojourns. In an inscription by Roberts he informs us that the work was a gift to the wife of his friend Joseph Arden, “…A Souvenir / of her Visit to Rome.”

Exhibition History

  • “Treasures from the Berger Collection: British Paintings 1400-2000” — Denver Art Museum, 10/2/2014 – 9/9/2018