Ancient Roman architectures by Giovanni Battista Piranesi

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.

Photos via:
http://www.atlantedellarteitaliana.it/artwork-8749.html

Giovanni Battista Piranesi, "Le antichità romane", 1784 - "Roman Antiquities"

"View of the entrance of the sepulchral chamber belonging to L. Arrunzio and his family"

"Veduta di altra parte della camera sepolcrale di L. Arrunzio" - "View of another side of the sepulchral chamber belonging to L. Arrunzio"

"View of another side of the sepulchral chamber belonging to L. Arrunzio"

"Veduta della camera sepolcrale a pochi passi da quella della famiglia di L. Arrunzio" - "View of the sepulchral chamber a stone's throw from the L. Arrunzio family's"

"View of the sepulchral chamber a stone's throw from the L. Arrunzio family's"

"View of the remains of the sepulcher believed to be of the Scipiones, ouside Porta San Sebastiano, above the ancient Via Appia, in the vineyard opposite the 'Domine quo vaadis' Church" (Priscilla's Tomb)

"View of the remains of the sepulcher believed to be of the Scipiones, ouside Porta San Sebastiano, above the ancient Via Appia, in the vineyard opposite the 'Domine quo vaadis' Church" (Priscilla's Tomb)

"Veduta di un sepolcro antico esistente in una vigna per la strada di Tivoli" - "View of an ancient sepulcher in a vineyard on the way to Tivoli"

"View of an ancient sepulcher in a vineyard on the way to Tivoli"

"Veduta esterna delle tre sale sepolcrali credute della famiglia di Augusto" - "View from the outside of the three sepulchral chambers believed to be of Augustus's family"

"View from the outside of the three sepulchral chambers believed to be of Augustus's family"

"Veduta interna della camera sepolcrale nella vigna Casali a Porta San Sebastiano" - "View inside the sepulchral chamber in the Casali vineyard in Porta San Sebastiano"

"View inside the sepulchral chamber in the Casali vineyard in Porta San Sebastiano"

"Veduta degli avanzi dell'antico ustrino sull'Appia Antica" - "View of the ruins of an ancient ustrinum along the Appia Antica"

"View of the ruins of an ancient ustrinum along the Appia Antica"

"Veduta degli avanzi dei mausolei e delle fabbriche su via Appia" - "View of the ruins of the mausoleums and factories along the Via Appia"

"View of the ruins of the mausoleums and factories along the Via Appia"

"Veduta di un gran masso, avanzo del sepolcro della famiglia de' Metelli sulla via Appia" - "View of a large rock, a ruin of the De' Metelli family sepulchre along the Via Appia"

"View of a large rock, a ruin of the De' Metelli family sepulchre along the Via Appia"

"Veduta degli avanzi del mausoleo di sant'Elena sulla via Labicana" - "View of the ruins of the Saint Helen mausoleum along Via Labicana"

"View of the ruins of the Saint Helen mausoleum along Via Labicana"

"Grand'urna di porfido col suo coperchio, ritrovata nel mausoleo di sant'Elena" - "Large porphyry urn with its lid, found in Sain Helen's Mausoleum"

"Large porphyry urn with its lid, found in Sain Helen's mausoleum"

"Spaccato della camera sepolcrale dei liberti e servi della famiglia di Augusto" - "Section of the sepulchral chamber of the freedmen and servants of Augustus's family"

"Section of the sepulchral chamber of the freedmen and servants of Augustus's family"

"Parte della facciata del sepolcro di Cecilia Metella" - "Part of the façade of Cecilia Metella's sepulcher"

"Part of the façade of Cecilia Metella's sepulcher"

"Vindicibus et protectoribus bonarum artium"

"Vindicibus et protectoribus bonarum artium"

"Veduta del ponte e del mausoleo fabbricati da Elio Adriano imperatore" - "View of the bridge and mausoleum built by Emperor Hadrian"

"View of the bridge and mausoleum built by Emperor Hadrian"

"Veduta di una parte dei fondamenti del Teatro di Marcello" - "View of part of the foundations of the Theater of Marcellus"

"View of part of the foundations of the Theater of Marcellus"

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