Kjarval had a keen interest in architecture and would often write articles on the subject in papers and periodicals. He was especially passionate about the beautification and development of Reykjavík. Buildings and cityscapes were also important subjects in his art. His interest in architecture seems to have arisen when he lived in London, and while he was in Copenhagen he drew a large number of red-pastel sketches of buildings. In 1920 he stayed in Italy for six months, and continued to draw or paint watercolours of towns and buildings. Ancient Roman architecture appealed to him, and in Italy he painted more buildings than landscapes. In Italy he had the opportunity to come into contact with buildings from an older time period than he had before; on the one hand he drew historic buildings, and on the other a number of sketches survive, based on the Cubist principle of simplification of the forms of the subject, leaving strong and simple forms. Pantheon is a good example of Kjarval interpreting one of the most important ancient buildings of Rome; the simple forms and precise proportions of the building are beautifully captured in an understated watercolour.