Giovanni Battista Piranesi. "Avanzi della Villa di Mecenate a Tivoli." Exterior view of the Villa di Mecenate at Tivoli. [The so-called villa of Mæcenas, Tivoli.] From Vedute di Roma.
First Paris Edition, 1800-7. 17 3/4 x 26 1/4. Etching. Hind 65, State I. Signed in plate, lower left in scroll: Piranesi sc. On laid paper, no watermark. Vertical crease at center. Wide margins.
Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-78) is renowned for his splendid views of ancient and modern Rome. In a lifetime dedicated to recording these magnificent buildings and mysterious ruins, he created a prodigious oeuvre of dramatic and moving images. The large scale Vedute di Roma is one of the best known and extensive series and the one that established Piranesi's reputation. Where much of his earlier work, namely the Grotteschiand the Carceri, was more fantastic in subject matter, these views were meant to be careful delineations of principal sites. As such, they became very sought after souvenirs for tourists in Rome. As examples of Piranesi's artistic prowess they are powerful renderings of great architectural and sculptural monuments. Piranesi's Roman views are unmistakable and unrivaled architectural prints.
Other prints by Giovanni Battista Piranesi and son Francesco: