While Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s lasting fame is based above all on his etchings, his work was first developed in vigorous sketches. Yet, few of his drawings are finished works, and virtually none matches exactly the final print, object, or building for which it was preparatory. Instead, we see in his drawings both the creation of his ideas and their rigorous editing, a process in which Piranesi might take his start from a view of Rome, an archaeological fragment, or a bit of architectural theory before creating something with a Piranesian stamp all its own. Examining drawings from across Piranesi's career, John Marciari, Charles W. Engelhard Curator, will explore the distinctive aspects of Piranesi's graphic style and the use and reuse of drawings in his busy workshop.
The exhibition Sublime Ideas: Drawings by Giovanni Battista Piranesi will be open at 5:30 PM for program attendees.
The event will take place in Gilder Lehrman Hall. By entering the museum, you agree to our updated Visitor Guidelines and Policies. Masks are encouraged, but not required for attending all public programs.