The Burning of Rome Seeley, George  (American, 1880-1955)

For this 1906 picture entitled The Burning of Rome, George Seeley posed his sisters on a hillside near the family home in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, a setting that could not have been farther from the Rome of Emperor Nero. Seeley, a student of Greek and Roman history, cajoled his mother into sewing costumes that he used in tableaux, such as this one, to which he gave evocative titles. Even without reference to the title the girls look genuinely menaced. Like Alvin Langdon Coburn, Seeley focused attention on the play of light, adding an eye catching visual element that competes with the literary allusion. [1]

Reproduced / Exhibited

Kruse, Margret. Kunstphotographie Um 1900: D. Sammlung Ernst Juhl; Hamburg: Museum für Kunst u. Gewerbe, 1989 pl. 851

Intimations & Imaginings: The Photographs of George H. Seeley, The Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, 1986 pl. II. p. 12


[1] The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin Spring 1978