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Piranesi Vases/Urns Classical Design

 Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778) was a brilliant classical artist whose work will always be admired - even if his name is often unknown. The series of superb etchings of Vases, often referred to as Piranesi Urns, will always find a place in classic design, and are used today with modern as well as traditional decor.

An 18th century architect, stonemason and engraver, Giovanni Battista Piranesi was a graphic artist of technical brilliance and of great expressive range. At his workshop in central Rome he restored architectural antiquities and created his own amazing stone structures. His creations often combined fantasy themes from his Baroque training, with his Roman archaeological discoveries. Piranesi's admiration of classical antiquity was reflected in his imaginative restoration of the antiquities he found in Rome.

Piranesi's extensive work in the field of Roman archaeology was acknowledged by his election to London's Society of Antiquaries. In his workshop Giovanni Battista Piranesi was assisted by his son, Francesco Piranesi, whom he had trained. Francesco was also very artistic and gifted like his father. Piranesi was commissioned by British patrons as well as wealthy locals to create elaborate architectural structures for their grand properties... as is indicated in the elegant descriptive script on the copperplate etchings he produced to illustrate his work, The superb definition of Piranesi's series of architectural design prints gives the impression that they are actually three-dimensional. These beautiful etchings were printed on thick hand-made paper for Vasi, Cippi y Sarcofagi, Tripodi, Lucerne ed Ornamenti Antichi (Vases, Candelabri, Gravestones and Sarcofagi, Tripods, Lamps and Ancient Ornaments) designed and etched by Cavalieri Giovanni Battista Piranesi and published in Rome between 1773 and 1778.


There are a number of these original etchings (nearly 250 years old) available from this Antique Print Club website at Piranesi etchings or from the Brisbane Antique Emporium in Clayfield (open 7 days a week from 10 am to 5 pm.) It is rare to find them is such good condition. I was lucky enough to be Rome for a museum exhibition of Piranesi's etchings, but they were all in rather poor condition. 

Reproduction prints of a selection of the original engravings are available in the original size on heavy modern paper from our Antique Print Club website under Heritage Editions-Classical/Design. We have a few of these full-size reproductions that have been hand-coloured in rust- or moss-colour. We had them printed to satisfy requests for large elegant timeless images that will suit modern contemporary living spaces - and not require investment outlay. (Please note that the digital images of our Heritage Editions prints do not do justice to the quality of these modern-printed fine quality reproduction prints.)

Posted: 25/02/2014 12:26:40 PM by | with 0 comments