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Anfiteatro di Pola in Istria, 1748

Etching on laid paper
14 9/16 × 20 3/4 in
37 × 52.7 cm
Permanent collection
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About the work
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Washington
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Plate: 12.9 x 26.5 cm (5 1/16 x 10 7/16 in.) sheet: 37 x 52.7 cm (14 9/16 x 20 3/4 in.)

Plate: 12.9 x 26.5 cm (5 1/16 x 10 7/16 in.) sheet: 37 x 52.7 cm (14 9/16 x 20 3/4 in.)

Image rights
Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington
Giovanni Battista Piranesi
Italian, 1720–1778
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Printmaker, engraver, and antiquarian Giovanni Battista Piranesi once said: “I need to produce great ideas, and I believe that if I were commissioned to design a new universe, I would be mad enough to undertake it.” This would prove an apt description of the fantastical architectural prints he became famous for. An ardent lover of Roman, Greek, and Egyptian architecture, Piranesi was the son of a stonemason and builder, and first studied drawing with his uncle, an engineer. (In fact, Piranesi considered himself an architect.) His drawings and etchings demonstrate a sophisticated ability in manipulating perspective and architectural elements for dramatic effect. Piranesi’s subjects not only included imaginings of ancient buildings, but also ominous prisons and mysterious ruins. His works were so popular that the prints were sold to Grand Tourists even after his death.

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About the work
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Washington
Follow

Plate: 12.9 x 26.5 cm (5 1/16 x 10 7/16 in.) sheet: 37 x 52.7 cm (14 9/16 x 20 3/4 in.)

Plate: 12.9 x 26.5 cm (5 1/16 x 10 7/16 in.) sheet: 37 x 52.7 cm (14 9/16 x 20 3/4 in.)

Image rights
Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington
Giovanni Battista Piranesi
Italian, 1720–1778
Follow

Printmaker, engraver, and antiquarian Giovanni Battista Piranesi once said: “I need to produce great ideas, and I believe that if I were commissioned to design a new universe, I would be mad enough to undertake it.” This would prove an apt description of the fantastical architectural prints he became famous for. An ardent lover of Roman, Greek, and Egyptian architecture, Piranesi was the son of a stonemason and builder, and first studied drawing with his uncle, an engineer. (In fact, Piranesi considered himself an architect.) His drawings and etchings demonstrate a sophisticated ability in manipulating perspective and architectural elements for dramatic effect. Piranesi’s subjects not only included imaginings of ancient buildings, but also ominous prisons and mysterious ruins. His works were so popular that the prints were sold to Grand Tourists even after his death.

Anfiteatro di Pola in Istria, 1748

Etching on laid paper
14 9/16 × 20 3/4 in
37 × 52.7 cm
Permanent collection
Want to sell a work by this artist? Consign with Artsy.
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