Giovanni Battista Piranesi

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Giovanni Battista Piranesi
1720-1778
Design for a mantelpiece with volutes, dolphins, and a shell
ca. 1765-1767
Pen and brown ink, over red chalk, on paper.
7 15/16 x 14 3/16 inches (202 x 361 mm)
Bequest of Junius S. Morgan and gift of Henry S. Morgan.
1966.11:65

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Inscription: 

Numbered at upper right, inverted, in graphite, "97".

Provenance: 
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.
Bibliography: 

Stampfle, Felice. Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Drawings in the Pierpont Morgan Library. New York : Dover, 1978, no. 65, repr.

Notes: 

Watermark: Probably fleur-de-lis inside double with circle. Watermark
Drawing is on fragment of a proof impression of an etching from "Antichit ̉d'Albano e di Castel Gandolfo," 1764, f. 526, pl. XVII.
This sketch for a mantelpiece incorporates decorative elements encountered elsewhere in Piranesi's work: the medallions found even in his early Venetian drawings, the shell seen in his Lateran designs, and the dolphins adopted from archaeological fragments.

Associated names: 

Design for (work): Piranesi, Giovanni Battista, 1720-1778. Diverse maniere d'adornare i cammini.
Morgan, Jane Norton, 1868-1925, former owner.
Morgan, Junius Spencer, 1892-1960, former owner.
Morgan, Henry S. (Henry Sturgis), 1900-1982, former owner.

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