Giovanni Battista Piranesi

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Giovanni Battista Piranesi
(1720–1778)

Architectural Fantasy

Pen and brown ink, with brown wash
12 15/16 x 19 5/16 inches (329 x 491 mm)

Gift of Janos Scholz

1974.27
Item description: 

Piranesi exerted considerable influence on late-eighteenth-century architecture through his hauntingly beautiful etchings, such as the Views of Rome and the prison compositions known as the Carceri. Here the classical triumphal arch—usually freestanding—has been incorporated into a complex building. Remarkable grandeur and drama are achieved through the close presentation of the edifice at an oblique angle and from a low vantage point, techniques often used in contemporaneous stage designs.