'Rome, Arch of Drusus...', c 1841.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A daguerreotype of the so-called Arch of Drusus in Rome, taken by an unknown photographer in about 1841and purchased by Alexander John Ellis (1814-1890). Originally a triple archway standing on the Via Appia it was thought since the sixteenth century to have been built for Drusus. However, it is more likely to date from the latter Trajanic period of the second century. The full title of the daguerreotype is 'Rome, Arch of Drusus, father of the Emperor Claudius near the Porta Appia'. Ellis toured Italy in 1841, taking daguerreotype panoramas, landscapes and architectural views. In Rome, he worked with Achille Morelli and Lorenzo Suscipi, acquiring 45 daguerreotypes from them. In total, Ellis took or acquired 159 daguerreotypes. He intended to publish engravings made from these as a book entitled 'Italy Daguerreotyped', but sadly the project was never realised.