The arena of cruel, pagan public amusement in antiquity has become a place of Christian faith. Various groups of believers are scattered across the vast oval of the ruined Colosseum. A wooden cross rises in the centre of the monument, which Pope Benedict XIV had dedicated during the eighteenth century as a place of memorial for Christian martyrs by installing the Stations of the Cross. Ramboux - a pupil of the Classical painter Jacques-Louis David - lived in Italy for several years. In addition to his own artistic activities, he also made an in-depth academic study of the art of antiquity and the Middle Ages.
The historian and town librarian Johann Friedrich Böhmer (1795-1863) was the administrator of the Städel from 1822 until 1834. He bequeathed to the museum works by his contemporaries, including Ferdinand Olivier and Johann Anton Ramboux, together with two old Italian paintings. A year later a further twenty-three Sienese paintings came into the possession of the Städel, having initially been donated to the Verein für Geschichte und Alterthumskunde (Society for History and the Study of Antiquity). Since the society had no use for them, they were exchanged for a pair of old pistols.