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Grand Piranesi classical urn etching c1773, from the Piranesi Museum in Rome

Grand Piranesi classical urn etching c1773, from the Piranesi Museum in Rome

by Giovanni Battista Piranesi

Rare antique print of Piranesi Urn. Apresso il Cavalieri Weddel in Enghilterra. Nel Museo del Cavalier Piranesi in Roma. (Presented to Mr Weddel, Esquire in England. From the Museum of Giovanni Battista Piranesi in Rome). Original etching drawn & incised by the greatest etcher of the 18th century, and the first great artist of Romanticism, Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778) for “Vasi Candelabri Cippiy Sarcofagi Tripodi Lucerne ed Ornamenti Antichi” published in Rome between 1773 and 1778.

Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s absorption with Roman archaeology was acknowledged by his election as Honorary Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in London in 1757, after publication of his etchings of the antiquities of Rome for Vedute di Roma. His love of classical antiquity was reflected in his imaginative restoration of antiquities he found, restored and sold, and his incorporation of elements from them into creations for his patrons and collectors. In 1766 Piranesi was awarded the Order of the Spur by Pope Clement XIII, and from then on he usually signed his work Cavalier Piranesi.

Piranesi was a graphic artist of technical brilliance and great expressive range. His etchings emulated the method of intaglio engraving when he drew a series of even parallel lines similar to those produced manually with a burin. Piranesi's style of etching gave him the freedom of drawing with the needle on the wax or resin ground over the copperplate, then allowing the acid to bite through into the copperplate, providing great flexibility in creating irregular or varied lines and strongly defined tonal contrasts. 

Original engravings of Piranesi Vases and Urns are rarely seen today. This superb, double-size original Piranesi etching has a horizontal central fold. It is in fine condition. Approximate page size 525mm x 370mm (20.3/8 x 14.1/2 inches), and to plate mark 390mm x 250mm (15.3/8 inches x 9.7/8 inches).

Stock Number: apcdGP9Price: $1,250.00