Arch of Triumph

Palmyra, Syria

Blown-up 2015

The Disappointed Tourist: Arch of Triumph, Ellen Harvey, 2021. Oil and acrylic on Gessoboard, 18 x 24″ (46 x 61 cm). Photograph: Etienne Frossard.

Requested by Anon.

The Arch of Triumph, or Monumental Arch, was one of the main tourist attractions in Palmyra. It was built during the reign of emperor Septimius Severus (193 – 211); it is unclear what the arch commemorated. Palmyra was captured by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in May 2015 and by October it was reported that the arch had been dynamited. I don’t know who took the photograph on which this painting was based; there are a lot of similar photographs on the web.