Giovanni Battista Piranesi

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(5) Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Scritti di storia e teoria dell'arte, Pierluigi Panza (ed.), Milan: Sugarco, 1993.
Pioneering Italian Giovanni Battista Piranesi was an influential figure whose work paved the way for scores of artists that followed.
Perhaps best known for his virtuoso etchings of ancient and modern Rome, Giovanni Battista Piranesi also opened up new vistas in the world of architectural fantasy.
Evidencing the lack of interest in such pieces is a spectacular set of Giovanni Battista Piranesi's pieces, entitled "Carceri d'Invenzione" (est.
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. Calling to mind Browning's crazed creative narrators, Piranesi, in a hermetically sealed voice, as though speaking from the crypt, rails against the Catholic church, against critics, against his wife Angelica who cuckolded him, and against his nemesis, the German aesthetic Johannes Winckelman, whose effete brand of Hellenism he denounces as a sham--a preposterous veil thinly concealing Winckelman's pederasty.
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.
Drawing upon etchings by the 18th-century architect Giovanni Battista Piranesi, the film utilizes sepiatoned computer projections and tweaked electronic reverberation to simulate these environments.
Ten prints by Giovanni Battista Piranesi at pounds 400 each.
Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Prima Parti di Architecture Prospettivo Ponte Magnifico, ca.