The compositions made on the Trajan's Column, the Trajan's great frieze, the statues of Dacians, have served as study "model" for the artistic works of the great Renaissance and Baroque artists and for the artistic currents that followed: these ancient sculptures from the apex period of the Roman art, have eloquently contributed in the creations and in the formation of the styles of the great of Renaissance and Baroque artists. In the early sixteenth century, among the first artists of the Italian Renaissance who studied the Trajan's Column was the painter Jacopo da Bologna (1490 (?) -1530 (?)), who even before the year 1506, showed a great interest in its bas-reliefs. In the subsequent years, the bas-reliefs of this monument of antiquity will gradually rouse a lively interest and exercise a great influence upon the best artists of the Renaissance, such as upon the frescoes of Raffaello Sanzio (1483-1520), upon the famous Stanzes and upon those of his pupil Giulio Romano (1499 (?) -1546) from the Vatican. It is known that Michelangelo himself (1475-1564) admired the compositions of the Trajan’s Column, before which he would have exclaimed: "There is only one Trajan's Column! ". Later, the style in which the bas-reliefs of Trajan's Column were carved by the ancient artists will influence upon the powerful compositions of Caravaggio (1571-1610). The great works of Renaissance and Baroque art is becoming more and more "influenced" by the Column art, by its bas-reliefs and by the statues of Dacians, aroused an increasing interest and large-scale studies have been initiated , casts and reproductions in stone were made after these works.
Of the many artistic creations that were influenced by the ancient Gauls’ representations we will give a few examples, which you can see and admire, made by the following great masters:


Polidoro da Caravaggio

Polidoro Caldara, called Polidoro da Caravaggio, born in 1495 at Caravaggio in the current province of Bergamo in Lombardy, deceased in 1543 in Messina, Sicily, is an Italian Renaissance painter, pupil of Raphael, who worked in Rome (1514 to 1527 ), Naples (1524, 1527-1528) and Messina (1528-1543?) and was also by the end of his life, an architect. He was known due to his style of using gray paint for its scenery, and in his drawings he stands out by the manner of using chiaroscuro process, of rendering the volumes by means of gradual effect of light and shadow contrast and he shows a special interest for the value of ancient art. In the attached pictures it can be observed the commitment given by the artist to ancient sculpture and his contribution to the art of statuary representations of Dacians. These ancient works were made by Roman artists, in the zenith of the Roman art during Emperor Trajan’s (98-117 AD) rule, for his monumental Forum in Rome. We note some details about the Polidoro Caldara's two drawings introduced here and about the two characters represented therein, obviously inspired by the monumental statues of Dacians about which we discussed above:

The Italian artist was inspired in his drawings by the statues of Dacians that are kept today in the Vatican Museum, the Pitti Palace (Florence), or that are on the Arch of Constantine in Rome.


Giulio Romano

Giulio Pippi de’ Jannuzzi, called Giulio Romano, is known in French as Jules Romain, born in Rome in 1492 or 1499 and deceased in Mantua on November 1, 1546, is an Italian painter, architect and decorator, one of the first Renaissance mannerist artists and the favorite pupil and main collaborator of Raffaello between 1515 and 1520. Throughout his artistic career the Italian artist adopted a trend for the ancient period that will mark the end of his life. As it can be recognized quite easily, this drawing represents one of the well-known compositions of the Trajan’s Column (Rome). It is the XXXII scene, where the Dacians besiege the Romans, fled to a fortress. Giulio Romano outstandingly represented the Dacians in its drawing, inspired by one of the scenes on the Column, which gives us important details: the Dacians’ clothes, their specific weapons, the expressive figures of these redoubtable warriors, their tactics and how they used to attack the enemy and to fight alone. The drawing line style is artistic, precise, plastic, characteristic for this artist, the manner to render volumes, depending on light and shadow, the proportion of characters is well observed etc.; a drawing of good artistic quality.

Some details about this drawing: paper support (light beige; dimensions: height 0.273 m, width 0.413 m inv. 3726 (recto); drawing held in Paris, the Louvre Museum - Department of Graphic Arts - Drawings and miniatures stock; year of acquisition: 1671 - for the King’s Office.


Biagio Pupini

Biagio Pupini (1511(?) - 1575), Italian Renaissance painter, active in his hometown of Bologna between 1530 and 1540. He was a disciple of the Italian painter and engraver Francesco Francia (1450-1517), he made the paintings for the church of San Giuliano, the Basilica of San Giacomo Maggiore and the church Santa Maria della Baroncella. This drawing done by the artist Pupini represents (we refer here to the right side of the composition) a group of 'barbarian' prisoners and Roman soldiers. It was made after an ancient Roman bas-relief that is currently in Rome and is a part of the monument of the honor gate dedicated to the Emperor Lucius Septimius Severus Pertinax (193-211 AD) and members of his family, in 204 AD.


Battista Franco

Battista Franco, born and deceased in Venice (1510-1561), an Italian Mannerist painter; his artistic career will start in Rome where he arrives in 1530, then in Florence. Profoundly inflenced by Michelangelo’s work, Franco will develop in his works a strong character of an exceptional drawer, revealing a true sense of his artistic knowledge, a study rich in information on the relevant subject matter, a complete and perfect drawing. The Italian artist emphasizes, in its design, an overall, yet complex vision: the detail of the studied (represented) subject, plasticity of drawing line, fineness of detail, the manner to handle volumes, features highlighting, vivacity that effuses from the Franco’s works etc. This drawing by Franco, taken as an example, is very eloquent, confirming the above statements: a true virtuoso of artistic and aesthetic drawing. The drawings after antique sculptures, which were created between 1548-1552, show a special attention and closeness. This "composition" actually deals with several separate representations, citing in fact several quite different issues. Our attention is focused on the representations of the two "barbarians" bearing the Dacian noble pileus. Franco gave a special interest in this statue of "barbarians", probably impressed by the ancient works and the unique aspect of these characters "coming" from a world called "barbaric". Most likely, the two "pileati" represented in the Franco’s drawing are the two statues of Dacians kept today at the National Museum of Naples.


Pirro Ligorio

Pirro Ligorio : an Italian artist, born at Naples 1513, and deceased in 1583 in Ferrari, Mannerist architect, painter of the Neapolitan school. Pirro Ligorio went to Rome in 1534, where he will continue and develop his passion for Roman antiquities, he organized excavations at Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli, and his most famous book is about ancient map of Rome, entitled "Antiquae Urbis Image" published in 1561.

This drawing attributed to Pirro Ligorio is inspired by one of the familiar scenes of Trajan's Column in Rome. T is very likely about the LXXV scene: Dacians require peace after the end of the first war between the Dacians and Romans, in the summer of 102 AD. The Italian artist’s composition is very similar with the ancient bas-relief on the Column, with some changes, primarily in the characters: in the ancient scene of the Column the fairly static position of Emperor Trajan seated on a stone podium was replaced with a character who is something more in motion and the group of Dacian warriors was transformed in the Pirro Ligorio’s drawing in a group of "barbarian" prisoners. Note that the group of Dacians represented the "picture" carved in stone on the Trajan’s Column, which group is before the Roman emperor, are not "barbarians" taken prisoners, but they are in the position of subjects demanding peace. We also specify, regarding the Dacian nobles knelt at Trajan’s feet, two important captains, of course, that they do not have their hands tied behind their back as represented in the tint drawing of the Neapolitan artist. It is a drawing-painting quite sensitive, artistic, with a successful, balanced composition, not monotonous, the proportions of the characters are quite observed, the "play" of plans gives a true and profound compositional rhythm. The drawing line is fine, of a variable intensity in order to create the rhythm and depth of the composition.


Pierre Jacques

Pierre Jacques (born at Rheims, about 1516-1520 or about 1545; deceased at Reims, 1596). Between 1573 and 1577 he was in Rome, in accordance with the dates written in sketchbook (Paris, National Library), which is his almost only certified work. It contains 96 folders with drawings after antique statues, bas-reliefs and architectural details. The drawings, which are made mostly with brown ink and black chalk, but occasionally in red chalk or sepia, show the sculptor’s interest in several views of a single statue. In the dated drawings, the shading methods reveal three main stages in the development of Pierre Jacques’ graphics: the earliest are marked by a reluctant hatch, followed by carefully contoured lines, parallel or in zigzag, and finally sketched rapidly contours. He drew mostly after the works in the collections: della Valle, del Bufalo, and Cesi, and studied more details of the bas-reliefs from Trajan's Column, the Roman arches and the sculpture from the Capitoline Hill. Among other collections he also drew after works from the collection of Farnese family and Savelli family, where he studied sarcophagus “Labours of Hercules” (Rome, Mus. Torlonia). He also painted contemporary works, among which "Cristo della Minerva" by Michelangelo. These drawings-studies after representations of Dacians on Trajan's Column, the Great Frieze of Trajan and the monument of the honor gate dedicated to Emperor Lucius Septimius Severus, come from "L'Album by Pierre Jacques de Reims. Dessin d'après les inédits marbres antique conservés à Rome au XVIe siècle" (manuscript kept at the National Library of Paris).



Peter Paul Rubens is a Flemish Baroque painter, born in 1577 at Siegen in Westphalia, 300 km from Antwerp, and deceased in 1640 in Antwerp. Rubens's work is considerable. Helped by its important workshop, he made many portraits and large religious projects (many of his paintings represent religious topics), mitological paintings and important series of historical paintings. Rubens was one of the most admired painters: Delacroix (1798-1863) named him Homer of painting.

First of all, it can be noted in these drawings of Rubens, the great artistic power of these representations; these figures of Dacians made during the period of zenith of the Roman art, presents a strong realistic nature. These portraits which otherwise are still well kept in the reliefs of the Column, a monument that was erected in 113 by Emperor Trajan (98-117 AD) in his forum in Rome. Rubens, due to the force of his drawing, gave even more vitality and strength of character to these figures of Dacians, emphasizing with very much talent the realistic character of these representations of Dacians, both the physiognomic traits for each studied and drawn portrait, and the interior psychological aspect of each character.


Jean-François Perrier

Jean-François Perrier, born in Pontarlier (a French locality, in the region Franche-Comté, county of Doubs) in 1590 and deceased in Paris in July 1650, is a French painter and engraver; Baroque school, professor at the French Academy, his works are of a conventional formalism. This French artist, a founding member of the Royal Academy of painting and sculpture, was the Professor of Charles Le Brun (1619-1690). In 1638 Perrier published "Segmenta Nobilium Signorum et Statuarum que temporis dentem individium evasere", Rome and Paris, an album containing 100 etching plates after the most famous ancient sculptures in Rome. Among these drawings there is also a representation which bears the number "16", after a Dacian’s statue. In 1645 he published a new album bearing the title : " Icônes et Segmenta illustrium e marmore tabularum quae Romae adhuc extant", Rome and Paris, containing 56 etching plates after the most famous ancient sculptures and reliefs of Rome. The comments accompanying these illustrations are annotated by the well-known antiquarian Giovanni Pietro Bell (1613-1696). Also in this collection there are numerous representations of Dacians (confrontation between Dacians and Romans) drawn after the reliefs of the triumphal arch of Constantine in Rome; some of the reliefs of this monument are from the time of the Emperor Trajan’s (98-117 AD) rule, which were taken from the friezes of Trajan's Forum. Being of a great importance for the history of the Greco-Roman art and archeology, the two editions of 1638 and 1645 give an overview of the ancient sculptures that could be seen and admired in Rome at that time. Jean-François Perrier's work could be traced only since a short time, and only these famous albums of engravings reproducing sculptures of ancient Rome ensured his posterity. Perrier's kept paintings are quite rare, and all the recent discoveries increasingly tend to ascribe a leading place of this artist in the French art of the XVIIth century.


Poussin Nicolas

Poussin Nicolas (1594-1665) ; a French painter of the 17th century, a major representative of classical painting. During the third voyage of Nicolas Poussin to Rome, where he arrived in 1624, the French artist studies the ancient sculptural works together with the Belgian sculptor François Duquesnoy (1597-1643). Among his many drawings and studies there are artistic studies made after representations of Dacians on the Column and Dacians statues from Trajan's Forum. Poussin's artistic qualities are remarkable: the expression beauty in his art prevails, he seeks un the ancient art the artistic virtue that he needs to create his art, ideal or intellectual beauty, enhancement of a noble, elegant expression, expression of composition and style etc. Poussin fully deserves the place it holds, one of the first places, among the major painters of the French school.


Pietro Sante Bartoli

Pietro Sante Bartoli (1615-1700), an Italian engraver, draftsman and painter, born in 1615 in Perugia (Ombra), Italy; in 1635 he settled in Rome, where he becomes a pupil of Nicolas Poussin, in 1640 (approx.) Bartoli will work in the service of Queen Christina of Sweden, as an antiquarian ; on November 7, 1700 Pietro Sante Bartoli dies in Rome. He engraved a large number of ancient monuments after his own drawings. Its main publications are :
Colonna Traiana eretta dal Senato e Popolo Romano all’ Imperatore Traiano Augusto nel suo Foro in Roma, in Italian language, Rome, 1667, in-folio ;
Admiranda Romanarum antiquitatum vetsigia, Rome, 1693, folio ;
Colonna Antonina, Gli antichi sepolcri, 1697, folio ;
Musoeum Odescalcum, 1747 and 1751, folio.
It was published in Paris between 1758-1783, a Recueil de peintures antiques after Bartoli, with a description made by Mariette and Comte de Caylus.


Edmé Bouchardon

Edmé Bouchardon (1698-1762) is a neo-classical French sculptor born to a family of artists, his father was the sculptor Jean-Baptiste Bouchardon (1667-1742). At the beginning of his artistic career he became a student of the French sculptor Guillaume Coustou (1677-1746). In 1722 (an important date in the artistic life of the sculptor), he won the Award of the Royal Academy in sculpture, which allowed him to go to Rome to improve his skills, where he will remain for 10 years. After this long stay in the capital of ancient Roman art, Bouchardon comes back in France in 1732, where he will be granted the high distinction the king’s sculptor, then he will appointed as member of the Academy in 1744 and professor in 1745. About the admired style of art of Edmé Bouchardon the following features can be retained : the artistic manner of this artist is very close to the beautiful ancient Roman art style in its zenith period (Trajan, 98-117 AD), as can be observed in these drawings made by Bouchardon after the lifelike figures of the Trajan's Column reliefs and the relief "Dacia Capta", held today at Capitol Museum in Rome. In his works Bouchardon comes very close to the compositions and style of ancient Roman art, he being considered by his contemporaries, the artist who "brought the of simple and noble taste of ancient world." Due also to the context of the artist’s period, the new knowledge and archaeological discoveries certainly caused this increasing trend towards a classical ideal. Bouchardon Edmé was one of the most illustrious sculptors of the reign of King Louis XV (1715-1774) and after his death he exercised a considerable influence, although he did not formed a veritable school.


Hubert Robert

Hubert Robert, (1733-1808) is a leading French artists of the XVIIIth century, he particularly standing out as landscape-painter, illustrator and painter of ancient ruins. In 1754 Hubert Robert went to Rome in order to perfect his art, where he will stay for 11 years. Here he will meet famous artists such as the Italian artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778), who had great influence on him, and reproduced in his drawings and paintings the most valuable ancient Roman monuments. The special, passioned interest of this artist to reproduce the monuments and the romantic aspect of ancient ruins led him to visit the famous remains of Pompeii, in 1760, as well as Paestum, Herculanum. In 1765 he will return to Paris where he will know a great well deserved success owed to his artistic talent and he will hold a variety of important positions. Unfortunately, Robert Hubert experienced a major period of distress in his life, during the "French Revolution" (1789-1799) when he was arrested in October, 1793 and imprisoned in the dungeons of Paris, Sainte-Pelagie and Saint-Lazare. The artist has managed to survive during this period in prison, painting on saucers scenes of life in prison and portraits of famous people incarcerated in these prisons. After ten months in prison the renowned artist will be released after the fall of Robespierre (1758-1794), and will find again a certain notoriety in the art world, he being gaven the rensposability to establish the new National Museum. During his stay in Italy he made many drawings and sketches after landscapes with ruins, and because of this he was called "Robert of the ruins". At the Louvre Museum, at the museum in Valence (Fr.) and at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg a large collection of drawings and paintings by Hubert Robert is stored. In the beautiful and interesting paintings of Hubert Robert there are sometimes rendered representations of statues of Dacians that can not always be identified with exactness, namely in which private collection or state museum these ancient sculptures could be possible identified.


Pierre Henri de Valenciennes

Pierre Henri de Valenciennes (1750-1819), a French painter, studied painting at the Royal Academy of Toulouse between 1770-1771 and was a student of Gabriel-François Doyen (1726-1806). During his artistic career he made several trips to Italy, in 1769, and between 1777-1785 will settle in Rome. After his stay in Italy the artist returns to France and will settle in Paris, where he made most of his artistic career: in 1784 he was admitted to the Academy of Painting, in 1805 obtained a gold medal at the famous Salon where he regularly exposes from 1800 until 1810, then is again awarded in 1814 and 1819, and was awarded the Legion of Honor. Pierre Henri de Valenciennes, an artist of great talent, is regarded as one of the main precursors of modern landscape-painting. This drawing, of a great artistic quality, is a head of Dacian made after numerous figures of Dacians represented in the scenes of Trajan's Column (Rome). In all likelihood it would be about the scene LXI : Trajan receives a pileate messenger of Decebal. The details of the Dacian’s profile in this scene on the Column could correspond with this drawing by Pierre Henri de Valenciennes. But, it is comparable also with other Dacian nobles who are before the Trajan’s tribune asking peace in the scene LXXV : end of the first war - Dacians demand peace. Likewise, the profile and position of the heads of these Dacians could correspond to Dacian from this drawing. Note the smoothness of the line and of the details of the face of character in the drawing of the French artist.


Jacques Louis David

Jacques Louis David (1748-1825), French painter, is regarded as the founder of the neoclassical school, he claiming the heritage of Nicolas Poussin’s classicism and of the Greek and Roman aesthetic ideals, seeking to regenerate the arts. He attended the courses of the Royal Academy, after which, since 1780, he became a famous painter, with the painting "Le Serment des Horaces". His many works are exhibited in most of the museums of Europe (much of them are in the Louvre Museum) and the United States of America. In his paintings historical subjects and portraits are prevailing. Jacques Louis David gives an important place to historical compositions inspired by mythological subjects (Andromakhe, Mars disarmed by Venus etc.) or by ancient Greek and Roman history (Brutus, Sabines, Leonidas etc.). During the French Revolution the artist tries to adapt his ancient inspiration to the contemporary topics (Le Serment du Jeu de Paume, La Mort de Marat, Le Sacre). Likewise, the portrait has a special place in his painting. At the beginning of his artistic career until the French Revolution he made portraits of his relatives, of well known personalities of his entourage, and self-portraits. David's graphic work is inspired by ancient art that has served in his great pictorial compositions, as it can be admired in these drawings-studies after the known representations of Dacians in the friezes of Trajan's Column and statues of Dacians, who come (mostly) from the Forum of Trajan in Rome. Jacques Louis David's style, an evolutional artistic way, will continue to gradualy emerge until it will reach to be characterized as a personal style. The portraits by David are close to naturalism towards a psychological evolution. The new contribution brought in art by this artist is characterized by the fact that he knew how to combine with much talent the aesthetic and moral inspiration in his neoclassicism.


Pierre-Adrien PÂRIS

Pierre-Adrien PÂRIS (1745-1819), is a French architect, designer and art collector, born and deceased in Besançon (France). After the training years spent in France, in 1771 Pierre-Adrien Pâris arrives in Rome, at the "Académie de France». In Italy the French artist will begin his real artistic career where he made numerous studies of ancient monuments, and will start, also in this period, his career as a collector of drawings of his fellow painters, and over time his collection will enrich with paintings, sculptures and antiques. Besides, he has also the opportunity to teach architecture leassons to Francesco Piranesi, son of the great Italian artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi, and to travel in southern Italy, where he will visit the famous ancient sites, Paestum, Pompeii, Herculanum. In 1774 Pâris returned to France where he will begin a long career as an architect. Towards the end of his life the artist will travel back in Italy, in 1806, and will again visit the ancient cities of southern Italy. Between 1808 and 1809 he will deal with travel arrangements of the antiquities from Villa Borghese for Napoleon who had bought this famous collection of and desired to transport it to France, Louvre. Among the ancient remains studied and drawn by Pâris in Rome it is also included Trajan's Column. The image below is a study by the French artist after one of the bas-reliefs on the Column pedestal. Features: accurate rendering of detail, very close to the ancient style of the reign of Trajan (98-117 AD).


Eugene Emmanuel Viollet-Le-Duc

Eugene Emmanuel Viollet-Le-Duc (1814-1879), a French architect known for his restorations of numerous famous medieval buildings: Basilique Sainte-Marie-Madeleine of Vézelay (Fr.), Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, Basilique Saint- Denis (north of Paris), Sainte-Chapelle (Paris), Cité de Carcassonne (Aude-Fr.), Château de Pierrefonds, (Oise-Fr.) etc. He is also known for his writings on architecture, which founded the modern architecture: Entretiens sur l'architecture, 1863. In addition to being a teoritician and restorer of medieval monuments, Viollet-le-Duc is a designer gifted with much talent, author of numerous drawings and watercolors made during his travels. We notice in some of his drawings, of a high artistic and iconographic quality, studies after sculptures of Dacians, as is the head of Dacian of the Vatican Museum, Nuovo Bracio room, after "Dacia Capta" (Capitol Museum) and after the fragmentary statue kept today in the reserves of Trajan’s Forum in Rome: precise line, a rendering faithful to the ancient model, we can say even that Viollet-le-Duc is very close to the style of the context of the relevant ancient art (when these sculptures were made), due to the manner of his drawing, which fact is actually quite remarkable. We can consider that the artist occupies a very special place as compared with the most famous artists of the Renaissance, Baroque etc. with respect to the accuracy of his drawing line, rendering the studied subject in a surprisingly realistic manner in his artistic achievements.