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Giovanni Battista Piranesi
Roman Aqueducts: A Framed 18th Century Architectural Etching by Piranesi

1758

About the Item

This framed 18th century etching by Giovanni Battista Piranesi is entitled "Speco della Giulia" (Aqueduct of the Acqua Giulia), published in Rome in 1758 in Piranesi's "Le antichita romane opera di Giambatista Piranesi architetto veneziano" (Roman antiquities by Giambatista Piranesi Venetian architect). This etching depicts several Roman aqueducts around Rome, which brought water to the city of Rome. These include: the Aqueduct of Giulia (Julia as it is known today), Aqueduct of the Acqua Tepula, Aqueduct of the Acqua Marcia The inscription in Italian reads: 1. Speco della Giulia. 2. Speco della Tepula. 3. Speco della Marcia. 4. Investitura di muro di tevolozza / per corroborazione dell'aquedotto, come si accenna ai numeri 117, e 118. del presente Indice. The English translation is: 1. Channel of the Aqueduct of the Acqua Giulia. 2. Channel of the Aqueduct of the Acqua Tepula. 3. Channel of the Aqueduct of the Acqua Marcia. 4. Wall covered with tevolozza to reinforce the aqueduct, as mentioned at numbers 117 and 118 in the Index of the present volume. Signature: Drawn and engraved by the Architect Piranesi. Aqua Tepula is an ancient Roman aqueduct completed in 125 BC. In 33 BC, Agrippa, under Augustus Caesar, modified the aqueduct concurrently with the construction of the Aqua Giulua (or Julia) to supply more water to the city of Rome. The aqueduct Aqua Marcia is one of the longest and oldest of the eleven aqueducts that supplied water to the city of Rome. It was built between 144–140 BC, during the Roman Republic. This Piranesi etching is held by many museums and institutions, including: The Metropolitan Museum Art in New York. This etching is presented in a black wood frame and a cream-colored mat. The frame measures 18.63" high, 20.13" wide and 0.75" deep. The print is in excellent condition. There is another Piranesi etching of the architecture of a Roman aqueduct listed on 1stdibs, the Aqueduct of Carracala. It is framed in an identical style frame and mat to this one, although slightly larger. It can be viewed by entering the 1stdibs reference # LU1173211279882 in the search field. The two would make for an attractive and interesting display grouping. A discount is available for the purchase of the pair. Since they would be shipped in one box, 1stdibs will refund one of the shipping charges. References: Hind 83; Focillon 20.A.163; Giesecke 116; Wilton-Ely I.348.298 Piranesi began collecting, restoring and selling ancient architectural objects in the 1760's in partnership with Thomas Jenkins and Gavin Hamilton, who had financed numerous excavations in the Pantanello area of Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli. In 1768 Piranesi began creating etchings depicting these objects. The plates were eventually published together as a set in 1778 in "Vasi, Candelabri, Cippi, Sarcofagi, Tripodi, Lucerne ed Ornamenti Antichi". Piranesi dedicated many of the plates to patrons, colleagues, good customers and influential people. Many of the antiquities shown in Vasi were eventually sold to King Gustav III of Sweden by Piranesi's son, Francesco Piranesi, after his father’s death, and now reside in the National Museum in Stockholm. 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 was knighted by the Pope in 1765 and he was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in England in 1757. 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.
  • Creator:
    Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778, Italian)
  • Creation Year:
    1758
  • Dimensions:
    Height: 18.63 in (47.33 cm)Width: 20.13 in (51.14 cm)Depth: 0.75 in (1.91 cm)
  • Medium:
  • Movement & Style:
  • Period:
    1750-1759
  • Condition:
  • Gallery Location:
    Alamo, CA
  • Reference Number:
    Seller: # 49871stDibs: LU1173211285602
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