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Giovanni Battista Piranesi
18th C. Piranesi Etching of an Ancient Roman Architectural Frieze

1778

$2,975

About

"Fregio antico di marmo con Ippogrifi, nel cortile del palazzo della Valle" (Ancient Marble Frieze with Hippogriffs in the Courtyard of The Palace of the Valley) is an etching by Giovanni Battista Piranesi, published in Rome in 1778. It is from Piranesi's monumental work "Vasi, Candelabri, Cippi, Sarcofagi, Tripodi, Lucerne, Ed Ornamenti Antichi", (Vases, candelabra, grave stones, sarcophagi, tripods, lamps, and ancient ornaments). It depicts an ancient Roman column, a frieze and other architectural elements, including Hippogriffs, which were magical beasts that had front legs, wings, and a head of a giant eagle and the body, hind legs and tail of a horse. The etching is presented in a silver and gold colored wood frame with double mats; an outer grey faux marble patterned mat and a thin black inner mat. The frame measures 26.63" x 36.13" x 0.88". There is very faint spotting in the margins. The print is otherwise in very good condition. Piranesi was born in Venice in 1720 and died in Rome in 1778. He was the son of a stone mason and was trained as an architect. After a slow start he eventually achieved great success as an architect, archaeologist, artist, designer, collector, and antiquities dealer. His mission was to glorify the architecture of ancient Rome through his engravings and etchings. His highly dramatized prints often depict imaginary interiors and frequently include figures in mysterious activities, who are dwarfed by the magnitude of their monumental surroundings. Piranesi's style greatly influenced the neoclassical art movement of the late 18th century. His dramatic scenes inspired generations of set designers, as well as artists, architects and writers. His prints have continued to increase in value to institutions and collectors.

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