Giovanni Battista Piranesi

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Giovanni Battista Piranesi
Sketches of Balustrade, Column, and Garland. Verso: Sketches of Balustrade and Cornucopia
ca. 1775-1778
Pen and brown ink on paper; verso: pen and brown ink.
5 x 10 1/4 inches (127 x 260 mm)
Bequest of Junius S. Morgan and gift of Henry S. Morgan.

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One of a series of late drawings by Piranesi showing vases and other decorative objects not as isolated design studies, but rather set within compositions - in this example perhaps in a garden, given the indication of "piante" (plants); see also 1966.11:116 and 1966.11:118. The function of these drawings is unclear, for they do not relate to any of Piranesi's printed works.
On same mat as 1966.11:116.


Inscribed at left, in pen and brown ink, "giocoliere"; at right, "piante"; numbered at lower center, in graphite, "33"; inscribed on verso, in pen and brown ink, "due cornucopi".
Watermark: Six-pointed star inside circle, surmounted by a cross, centered on chain line, fragment.

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.
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.


Stampfle, Felice. Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Drawings in the Pierpont Morgan Library. New York : Dover, 1978, no. 119.