Giovanni Battista Piranesi

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Giovanni Battista Piranesi
Sketches of Figure and Vases
ca. 1774-1778
Pen and brown ink on paper.
6 x 10 inches (152 x 254 mm)
Bequest of Junius S. Morgan and gift of Henry S. Morgan.

Inscribed at right, in pen and brown ink, "Vaso Villa Medici".

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. 116, repr.


The sketch of figures and vases is one of a number of late drawings -- see also 1966.11:18 and 1966.11:19 -- that show vases and other objects not as isolated items, as in most sketches related to Piranesi's "Vasi, Candelabra...," but rather as elements in rough compositional sketches.
The verso has a fragmentary list of Piranesi publications in a clerical hand (see Stampfle catalogue entry cited below for a transcription). The latest of the works listed there is Piranesi's "Colonna Triana" in book form, which can be dated to 1774, giving a likely date for the list. The list of publications also includes a "Vasi, e candelabri, in one volume," which was surely an early version of what became the "Vasi, Candelabri, Cippi..." published in 1778.
On same mat as 1966.11:119.

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.