Ancient Roman architectures by Giovanni Battista Piranesi

Giovanni Battista Piranesi,

Giovanni Battista Piranesi, "Urbis aeternae vestigia ab eq[uite] I[ohanne] B[aptista] Piranesio iam aeneis tabulis incisa..."

Here is a gallery of engravings Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778) made to exalt the magnificence of ancient Roman architectures despite their state of neglect and disrepair.

Piranesi clearly aimed to highlight the superiority of Etruscan and Roman architecture over the Greeks’, challenging the position upheld by German art historian Johann Joachim Winckelmann at the time.

The images we are showcasing here are taken from 1784 “Le Antichità romane, opera del Cavaliere Giambattista Piranesi, architetto veneziano, divisa in quattro tomi”, published in Rome by Stamperia Salomoni in Piazza Sant’Ignazio (after a first edition in 1756), and currently kept at the Universitätsbibliothek in Heidelberg, Germany.

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December 2, 2015