Giovanni Battista Piranesi

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Piranesi, Giovanni Battista


Born Oct. 4, 1720, in Mojano, Veneto; died Nov. 9, 1778, in Rome. Italian engraver and architect.

Piranesi was influenced by ancient Greek and Roman architecture and by baroque set design (Galli da Bibbiena). Working in a technique that combined etching with engraving, Piranesi created architectural fantasies, which are striking in the superhuman grandeur of spatial solutions and dramatic chiaroscuro (for example, the cycles Carceri d’Invenzione, c. 1745–50 and 1760–61). He invested his landscape engravings with an element of romantic invention, which make the architectural monuments particularly impressive and picturesque (the cycles The Etchings of Rome, 2 vols., 1748–88). Piranesi’s engravings, particularly those of a decorative nature, greatly influenced the development of the Empire style.


Toropov, S. A. Dzhovanni Battista Piranezi: Izbrannye oforty. Moscow, 1939.
Volkmann, H. G. B. Piranesi, Architekt und Graphiker. Berlin, 1965.
References in periodicals archive ?
5) Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Scritti di storia e teoria dell'arte, Pierluigi Panza (ed.
Venetian-born, Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778) was an etcher, archaeologist, designer and architect, who devoted his entire career to the depiction of the architectural splendours of Rome and its surrounding region, and became perhaps the most inventive and powerful printmaker in 18th-century Italy.
Winds of disaster blow through this fictional autobiography of the eighteenth-century Italian artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi.
Featuring some 60 prints as well as a selection of illustrated books, it includes works by Andrea Mantegna, Albrecht Durer, Hendrick Goltzius Rembrandt van Rijn, and Giovanni Battista Piranesi.
Ten prints by Giovanni Battista Piranesi at pounds 400 each.
Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Prima Parti di Architecture Prospettivo Ponte Magnifico, ca.
Drawing on his experience of the teeming city, he supplemented his Biblical subject matter and Romantic vision of landscape with a new, paranoid imagery of architectural elaboration as bewildering as anything evoked by Giovanni Battista Piranesi in his hellish Imaginary Prisons (first published in 1750).
Vasi, one of the great architectural illustrators of his time, was eclipsed by his student Giovanni Battista Piranesi in much the same way the composer Antonio Salieri was dwarfed by Mozart.
A new exhibition of the works of Giovanni Battista Piranesi has gone on display at the University Gallery at the University of Northumbria.