Giovanni Battista Piranesi
From: Diverse maniere d’adornare i cammini ed ogni altra parte degli edifizi: desunte dall’architettura Egizia, Etrusca, e Greca con un Ragionamento Apologetico in difesa dell’Architettura Egizia, e Toscana, opera del Cavaliere Giambattista Piranesi Architetto (Diverse Ways of Ornamenting Chimneypieces and All Other Parts of Houses Taken from Egyptian, Etruscan, and Grecian Architecture with an Apologia in Defense of the Egyptian and Tuscan Architecture, the Work of Cavaliere Giambattista Piranesi)
Paris: circa 1830
21 1/2 x 16"
Giovanni Battista Piranesi was an archaeologist, an architect and an engraver. With his sovereign mastery of graphic techniques and virtually superhuman powers of invention, he redefined the possibilities of the print medium as only Durer and Rembrandt had done before him. Generations after him would continue to imagine Ancient Rome as it is portrayed in his magnificent Vedute di Roma (Views of Rome) and Le Antichità Romane, from which this selection of images originates. Born in Venice, the son of a stone mason, he moved to Rome in 1745 to establish his own printing workshop to produce his architectural drawings. These particular prints from the Vedute di Roma series and Le Antichità Romane series are exemplars of Piranesi's clean, crisp style and dramatic use of light and dark. Even when depicting the crumbling structures of antiquity, Piranesi imbued his etchings with a sense of vitality and timelessness, demonstrating why Piranesi has remained one of the most enduring, creative etchers and artists of all time. These views are evocative examples of Piranesi's finest work.