From 5 October 2012 to 20 January 2013
In 1740 Giambattista Piranesi (Venice, 1720 - Rome, 1778) arrived for the first time in Rome in the retinue of the Venetian Ambassador to the Pontifical States. The discovery of Roman antiquity aroused a boundless fascination in him, accompanied by a feeling of impotence in the face of an incapacity to imitate the grandeur of the ancients. He exchanged his architect’s tools for the engraver’s burin, which allowed him to express his architectural ideas and influence contemporary taste with the same freedom as painters and sculptors.
The Arts of Piranesi. Architect, etcher, antiquarian, vedutista, designer is an exhibition conceived by Michele De Lucchi, produced by the Fondazione Giorgio Cini and Factum Arte and organised by ”la Caixa” Social Projects. It brings together a wide selection of the engravings of Giambattista Piranesi, from the first series of plates done in 1743, Prima Parte di Architetture, e Prospettive (Part One of Architectures and Perspectives), to his last works in the 1770s dedicated to studies of objects and furniture. These 250 engravings from the Fondazione Giorgio Cini show the complexity, versatility and multidisciplinary nature of Piranesi’s work from a threefold point of view: artistic, theoretical and professional.