THE MORGAN LIBRARY & MUSEUM TO EXHIBIT THE FINAL WORKS OF THE GREAT ITALIAN DRAFTSMAN AND CLASSICIST GIOVANNI BATTISTA PIRANESI
In 1777, the great Italian draftsman and printmaker Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778) visited the haunting and majestic archaeological site of Paestum on the Gulf of Salerno, about 60 miles south of Naples. A Greek colony dating to circa 600 b.c., Paestum had long been abandoned when it was rediscovered in the eighteenth century. Antiquarians eagerly studied the site, visiting its three ancient Doric temples, then identified as the Basilica, the Temple of Neptune, and the Temple of Ceres. The Basilica and the Temple of Neptune are among the best-preserved early Greek temples.