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  • Design Credit: Samantha Todhunter Design Ltd., Photo Credit: Oliver Clarke. Dimensions: H 36.75 in. x W 25.5 in.
  • Design Credit: Lucy Harris Studio, Photo Credit: Francesco Bertocci. Dimensions: H 36.75 in. x W 25.5 in.
  • Design Credit: Timothy Godbold, Photo Credit: Karl Simone. Dimensions: H 36.75 in. x W 25.5 in.
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Giovanni Battista Piranesi
18th Century Etching of Ancient Roman Architecture by Giovanni Piranesi

1768

$2,975

About

This is an 18th century etching by Giovanni Battista Piranesi entitled "Al Suo Carissimo Amico il sig Giovanni Laffany Candelabra Antica", plate 25 from "Vasi, Candelabri, Cippi, Sacrofagi, Tripodi Lucerne ed ornamenti antichi", a handsome series of etchings of ancient vases, candelabra, funerary urns, and other excavated decorative objects found throughout Italy. This etching depicts an elaborate candelabrum which was creatively restored by Piranesi from ancient artifacts that were uncovered in the excavations at Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli. He combined a number of diverse ancient fragments to create a new magnificent candlestick. The actual physical candelabra that he created is now in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford. A similarly elaborate candelabrum, now in the Louvre, formerly served as an ornament to Piranesi's own tomb. The etching is in the collection of several museums, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The British Museum. The etching is presented in a black frame with gold filigree inner and outer trim, a beige silk mat and a gold fillet. 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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