|Artist||Giovanni Battista Piranesi|
|Published||Piranesi Architetto dis. ed inc. [Rome, Bouchard, c.1753]|
|Dimensions||Image 355 x 575 mm, Plate 445 x 605 mm, Sheet 595 x 810 mm|
An illustration of various capitals, column pieces, and an architectural fragment, from Piranesi's Trofei di Ottaviano Augusto. The five illustrations on the sheet show a marble fragment then in the Palazzo de'Cesari of an architrave and frieze decoration featuring a winged Victory standing beside a military trophy, a pair of column capitals allegedly from the Temple of Diana featuring acanthus and laurel leaves, egg and dart, and knot patterns, and a pair of column fragments, one from the Church of St Bartholomew on the Tiber Island and the other from the Palazzo Capizucchi, the former featuring a branch and leaf pattern with birds, the latter in the form of a laurel chaplet.
Piranesi's first foray into archaeological survey was the short, but grandiosely titled, volume Trofei di Ottaviano Augusto innalzati per la Vittoria ad Actium e conquista dell'Egitto con vari altri ornamenti diligentemente ricavati dagli avanzi piu preziosi delle fabbriche antiche di Roma, utili a pittori, scultori ed architetti, designati ed incisi da Giambattista Piranesi, Architetto Veneziano. Taking as its inspiration the two antique trophies that had been set up on the terrace of the Campidoglio in 1590, Piranesi argued for an attribution to Augustus in commemoration of the Battle of Actium. The trophies, which had been rediscovered in an excavation of the fountainhead of the Aqua Julia, were colloquially known as the Trophies of Marius. Piranesi's pamplet contained detailed illustrations of the trophies, as well as a pair of general views and a series of plates depicting other architectural fragments that the artist believed would be of interests to other antiquarians, sculptors, architects, and cognoscenti.
Giovanni Battista (also Giambattista) Piranesi (1720 – 1778) was an Italian artist famous for his etchings of Rome and of fictitious and atmospheric "prisons" (the Carceri d'Invenzione). He was a major Italian printmaker, architect and antiquarian. The son of a Venetian master builder, he studied architecture and stage design, through which he became familiar with Illusionism. During the 1740's, when Rome was emerging as the centre of Neoclassicism, Piranesi began his lifelong obsession with the city's architecture. He was taught to etch by Giuseppe Vasi and this became the medium for which he was best known.
Wilton-Ely 273, F138, C386
Condition: Strong clean impression. Central vertical fold as issued.