Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller painted The Roman Ruins in Schönbrunn in 1832.
I’ve always found Waldmüller’s body of work surprisingly incongruous. His genre scenes—paintings of every-day life—consist almost entirely of idealized, moralizing images of smiling rural families and occasional heavy-handed religious themes. They read almost as parodies of the pastoral ideal.
Yet his still lifes (and, as seen here, his landscapes) manage to be realistic—but also full of life; the statues in the middle seem mere moments from turning around, highlighted as they are by the little patch of sun through the arch.