Vasi, Candelabri, Cippi, Sarcofagi, Tripodi, Lucerne, Ed Ornamenti Antichi Disegn. Wilton Ely 971 – Giovanni Battista Piranesi Prints.
Vasi, Candelabri, Cippi, Sarcofagi, Tripodi, Lucerne, Ed Ornamenti Antichi Disegn Wilton Ely 971, Giovanni Battista Piranesi Prints.
Giovanni Battista Piranesi had begun the etchings for the plates in this work as early as 1768.
Certainly, the growing trade in newly excavated classical objects d’art, particularly to aristocratic British collectors, encouraged Piranesi to establish a workshop and showroom for the restoration and sale of these antiquities.
This eclectic and splendid collection of engravings depicts objects that passed through his workshop in the Palazzo Tomati. Located conveniently close to the British quarter in the Piazza di Spagna.
Such as the amazing vase sold to the Earl of Warwick in 1774. Many excavated by Gavin Hamilton from the Pantenello area of Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli in 1769, and in 1777 during the Spanish excavations at the Villa Negroni in Rome
Many other notable and interesting pieces, from lamps to monumental vases and sarcophagi including.
Piranesi notes on many plates that the object has been imaginatively restored and provides detailed and useful information about the discovery and contemporary location of the objects concerned.
Each plate is dedicated to a particular collector, including such luminaries as Sir William Hamilton, Charles Townley, The Marquess of Exeter, William Vyse, William Beckford &c.
A fine early impression from the collection of Carlotta Cattaneo Adorno Fasciotti Giustiniani (1923- 1989) of Palazzo Durazzo Pallavicini, Genoa.
Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-78)
When Piranesi first arrived in Rome in 1740 there was an already established market for views of the city as Grand Tour souvenirs.
His Vedute however, executed from about 1748 until the end of his life transcended mere topographical accuracy. And became a heroic and tragic vision to the power of Roman architecture.
Two aspects of Piranesi’s Venetian background were key to the enabling of this vision:
- his training in engineering and stone construction which helped engender an appreciation of the effects of massive masonry. The poetic effect of ruins
- and his training in stage design which cultivated a sensitivity to effects of light and great skill in both linear and atmospheric perspective.
These architectonic/scenographic concerns found heightened and highly personal expression in Piranesi’s series of fantastic prison interiors. The Carceri d’Invenzione – which first appeared in the 1740’s.
A highly imaginative eclecticism of style characterised Piranesi’s work as a designer. A trait reflecting his belief in a creative attitude towards the use of antique sources.