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Piranesi antique print. Antique Marble Vase on Urn. c1778.

Piranesi antique print. Antique Marble Vase on Urn. c1778.

by Piranesi, Giovanni Battista/Francesco

Rare original Piranesi etching. Vasi antico di Marmo, con urna cineraria sottopostavi, che si vede prefso il Cavalier Piranesi (Antique Vase in Marble, with Cinerary Urn Support by Cav. Gio. Batt. Piranesi). Original etching drawn & incised by Francesco Piranesi, the talented son of 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 dedication to and pursuit of 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's sons were trained and worked with him, but it was only Francesco who showed his father's brilliance.

The Piranesi style of etching enabled 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. 

Piranesi Urns and Vases are still enjoyed today as contemporary décor. This superb rare original Piranesi etching 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: apGB-FP.2Price: $850.00