|Artist||Giovanni Battista Piranesi|
|Published||Piranesi fecit. Presso l'Autore a Strada Felice nel Palazzo Tomati vicino alla Trinita de monti. A paoli due e mezzo. [Rome, c.1775]|
|Dimensions||Image 385 x 592 mm, Plate 410 x 595 mm, Sheet 510 x 710 mm|
An interior view of St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, from the Vedute di Roma. The view shows the truly colossal scale of the Church's nave, looking towards the transept with its famous baldacchino, commissioned by Pope Urban VIII and designed by Bernini, which covers the Tomb of St Peter and the high altar. In the foreground, worshippers and tourists gather in small packs, while a group of clergymen process in two lines towards the altar.
The Vedute di Roma was Piranesi's most popular and best known series, celebrating the churches, monuments, ruins, bridges, fountains, and public spaces of the city of Rome. The immense popularity of the series meant that they were in constant demand, and Piranesi continued to reissue and add to the series from the 1740s until his death in 1778. The Vedute were particularly popular with British grand tourists, and had a profound effect on the British neoclassical movement. Demand was such that the series was reprinted numerous times after Piranesi's death, including two Paris editions published by his sons, Francesco and Pietro.
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.
Hind 4 iii/vi, Wilton-Ely 137, F 788, C 689.
Condition: Excellent impression, pressed vertical