Luigi Rossini, a cousin of the famous composer Gioachino Rossini was born in Ravenna in the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy and studied at the Academy of Bologna. He graduated in 1813 but had a very hard time finding a job as an architect, so with economic reasons in mind he decided to focus entirely on the art of engraving and etching, having fallen in love with Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s iconic prints of Rome.
His best known work ‘Roman antiquities’ a series of 101 large folio plates which were published in in 1825. They were based on the antique Roman architecture and excavations and showed the classical architecture of Rome and its surrounding countryside. These prints like those of his predecessor, Piranesi took advantage of the fashion for the ‘Grand Tour’ giving the rich tourists a lasting souvenir of their visit. Ironically, as the wealthy young autocrats excavated the remains of ancient Rome and took away some of their findings, these views of the ruins in their bucolic settings were lost forever.