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Permanent Collection: Works of Art on Paper:
Giovanni Basttista Piranesi, 1720-1778

Giovanni Basttista Piranesi, 1720-1778

Italian, The Colosseum, 1761. Etching. From Le vedute di Roma. Art History Department Fund. 1997.6

Piranesi was the foremost printmaker working in Rome in the eighteenth century, and his series of views of Roman monuments was much in demand by travellers visiting on the Grand Tour. In this print Piranesi presents the Colosseum from a distorted perspective, making the building appear to loom darkly and dramatically over the viewer. The dissemination of images of ancient monuments like these was critical in arousing interest in antiquity and, thus, contributed to the rise of modern archaeology.

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