Giovanni Battista Piranesi

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Giovanni Battista Piranesi
Design for a Bracket with Acanthus Motif. Verso: Fragment of ornament
ca. 1760
Red chalk on paper, irregularly cut; verso: red chalk.
9 5/16 x 2 1/2 (upper margin) inches (237 x 64 mm)
Bequest of Junius S. Morgan and gift of Henry S. Morgan.

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Numbered at upper left, inverted, in graphite, "67".

Mrs. J. P. Morgan, New York; by descent to her sons Junius S. Morgan, Princeton and Paris (no mark, see Lugt 1536) and Henry S. Morgan, New York.

Stampfle, Felice. Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Drawings in the Pierpont Morgan Library. New York : Dover, 1978, no. 22, repr.


On same mat as 1966.11:21;23.
Likely by one of Piranesi's assistants, perhaps his son Angelo Piranesi.
Together with 1966.11:21, and 40, these decorative motifs all appear in the plates of Piranesi's Della magnificenza ed Architettura de' Romani (On the Grandeur and the Architecture of the Romans), a polemical compendium of ancient Roman ornaments published in 1761 to combat the growing taste for the purity of Greek architecture. Piranesi admired the variety and license with which the Romans had applied ornament to various architectural forms. This bracket appears in plate 19.

Associated names: 

Design for (work): Piranesi, Giovanni Battista, 1720-1778. Della magnificenza e d'architettura de' Romani.
Morgan, Jane Norton, 1868-1925, former owner.
Morgan, Junius Spencer, 1892-1960, former owner.
Morgan, Henry S. (Henry Sturgis), 1900-1982, former owner.