Giovanni Battista Piranesi, ‘The Round Tower, from 'Carceri d'invenzione' (Imaginary Prisons)’, ca. 1749–1750, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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The Round Tower, from 'Carceri d'invenzione' (Imaginary Prisons), ca. 1749–1750

Etching, engraving, sulphur tint or open bite, burnishing, first state of four (Robison)
24 13/16 × 19 1/2 in
63 × 49.5 cm
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About the work
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York

publisher: Giovanni Bouchard (French, ca. 1716–1795); sheet: 24 13/16 x 19 1/2 in. (63 x 49.5 cm); …

Medium
Print
Image rights
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1937), licensed under CC0 1.0 Universal
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.

Giovanni Battista Piranesi, ‘The Round Tower, from 'Carceri d'invenzione' (Imaginary Prisons)’, ca. 1749–1750, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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View
View in room
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About the work
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York

publisher: Giovanni Bouchard (French, ca. 1716–1795); sheet: 24 13/16 x 19 1/2 in. (63 x 49.5 cm); plate: 21 7/16 x 16 5/16 in. (54.5 x 41.5 cm)
http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/337725

Medium
Print
Image rights
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1937), licensed under CC0 1.0 Universal
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.

The Round Tower, from 'Carceri d'invenzione' (Imaginary Prisons), ca. 1749–1750

Etching, engraving, sulphur tint or open bite, burnishing, first state of four (Robison)
24 13/16 × 19 1/2 in
63 × 49.5 cm
Want to sell a work by this artist? Consign with Artsy.
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