Giovanni Battista Piranesi

Download image: 
Giovanni Battista Piranesi
Design for a Chimneypiece with Volutes, Dolphins, and a Shell
ca. 1764-1767
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.

Download verso image: 

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

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. 65, repr.


Watermark: Probably fleur-de-lis inside double with circle. Watermark
Drawing is on fragment of a proof impression of an etching from "Antichita ̉d'Albano e di Castel Gandolfo," 1764, f. 526, pl. XVII.
This sketch for a chimneypiece 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.