Giovanni Battista Piranesi (Italian, 1720-1778) was one of the most talented etchers working in 18th-century Rome. Throughout his career, he produced spectacular images of the city. His prolific artistic output includes vedute, or views, of Roman ruins and modern structures, fantastical reconstructions of the ancient city, and large printed volumes of text and image. While Piranesi was a learned antiquarian and immensely gifted printmaker, he seems to have thought of himself principally as an architect. The wide range of the artist’s production represented in this exhibition—several of his vedute, pages of text and image from Le Antichità Romane, and his Egyptianizing designs for interior decoration—reflect this self-identity and reveal an early modern architect deeply interested in the magnificence of the Roman past and the variety of architectural forms present in its ruins.
For more about this exhibition, visit Piranesi's Pages: Rome in Books and Prints, 1756-1776.