Giovanni Battista Piranesi. “Lucerna antica di Bronzo…” From Vasi, Candelabri, Cippi, Sarcofagi, Tripodi, Lucerne, ed Ornamenta Antichi Disegnati ed Incisi.. Paris, ca. 1800-1809. First Paris editin. Etching by G.B. Piranesi. 15 x 20 1/2. Very good condition.
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Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-78) is renowned for his splendid views of ancient and modern Rome. In a life time dedicated to recording these magnificent buildings and mysterious ruins, he created a prodigious oeuvre of dramatic and moving images. The large scale Vedute di Roma is one of the best known and most extensive series, and the one that established Piranesi’s reputation. Much of his earlier work, namely the Grotteschi and the Carceri, was more fantastic in subject matter. His series on decorative items were designed to accompany his larger views of principal sites, and they are equally monumental. As such, they became very sought after souvenirs for tourists in Rome, especially the British. Giovanni worked on the Vasi series from 1768 to 1778, and his son Francesco, who had engraved most of the plates in the series, completed the final eight plates between 1779 and 1786.