City Views, Archeology, Italy, Rome, Foro Romano, Piranesi
Veduta del Sito, ov'era l'antico Foro Romano
Hind 41 V / VII
On either side of the title are descriptions with numbers corresponding to those in the image. The buildings, Monte Aventino and the piazza are described.
Print is from the First Paris Edition (1800 - 1807) and has very wide margins. Hardly any spots in margins. A few nearly invisible creases in lower margin.
38.5 x 59 cm (15.1 x 23.2 ")
Piranesi - Vedute di Roma
Piranesi, Giovanni Battista ( born October 4, 1720 in Mestre/Venice - died November 9, 1778 in Rome). Architect, archeologist, master designer and engraver.
When Piranesi arrived in Rome in the year 1740 he was instantly impressed by the splendor of the antique ruins in the ancient city. For almost a year he was an apprentice in ther studio of Guiseppe Vasi, his later collegue and rival, where he learned the art of engraving copper plates. He began his extremely sucessful career depicting Rome's architectural gems (antique and contemporary) on extra large-scale single sheets: the famous "Vedute di Roma" (Views of Rome). Piranesi was an obsessed artist. Relentlessly he added plates, sometimes variations of former ones, to the collection, until, at the end of his life, there was a total of 135 views showing the majesty and the splendor of the once poweful capital of the Roman empire.
If Piranesi's enterprise seemed adventurous in the beginning, it soon turned out to be very sucessful. The mix of mastership and sense for good business worked, as during the 18th century, traveling became popular among the educated classes of Europe. To see Rome (after having learned so much about its important role in history for the culture of the Western World) was the high point of any traveler's dream. And as they saw the ancient city's treasures, they discovered Piranesi's renderings of them in print. Their sheer size was as impressive as was their artistic value obvious. The tourists therefore liked to buy his prints, picking their favorites or even buying the entire collection. They made artful wall decorations at home and reminded the traveler of his journey. Piranesi printed at least twice the size of his competitors. Without a doubt, he was the formost in his field.
After Piranesi's death, his son Francesco took the plates to Paris and continued publishing his father's work between the years 1800 and 1807. As the "Vedute di Roma" have always been a collector's desire, the prints have become increasingly rare. Their popularity has led to scarcity.