Yesterday I showed some ancient inscribed letterforms from Ostia Antica. Today we flash forward some seventeen hundred years to this inscription over a gate in the Vatican complex, which is dated 1831.
I don’t like this one so much. Whoever inscribed these letters was clearly working from typeset models. But the thin lines, right angles, and sharp serifs of the Romantic period are the result of developments in typesetting equipment and papermaking that have nothing to do with letterforms inscribed in stone.
These kinds of incongruities often result when work in one medium is transferred to another without consideration for the essential character of the medium.