Giovanni Battista Piranesi

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Giovanni Battista Piranesi
Design for a Wall Panel with Shields and a Winged Female Figure Verso: Sketch for a Table(?)
ca. 1746-1747
Pen and brown-black ink and wash, over black chalk, on laid paper; verso: pen and brown ink.
12 13/16 x 14 3/4 inches (325 x 375 mm)
Bequest of Junius S. Morgan and gift of Henry S. Morgan.

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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.

Denison, Cara, Myra Nan Rosenfeld, and Stephanie Wiles. Exploring Rome : Piranesi and His Contemporaries. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library; Montrǎl : Centre Canadien d'Architecture, 1993, no. 22, repr.


Watermark: bow and arrow. Briquet 738. Same as watermark on 1966.11:9 and 1966.11:10 and 1966.11:11.
For financial reasons, the young Piranesi evidently had to return to his native Venice from Rome in the mid-1740s. While he was there, he is recorded as having designed interior decorations for the palaces of "some Venetian senators and noblemen." This drawing, with its rococo lightness of touch, may have been a study for a work of this type. --Exhibition Label, from "Tiepolo, Guardi, and Their World: Eighteenth-Century Venetian Drawings"

Associated names: 

Morgan, Jane Norton, 1868-1925, former owner.
Morgan, Junius Spencer, 1892-1960, former owner.
Morgan, Henry S. (Henry Sturgis), 1900-1982, former owner.