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Rare Piranesi urn etching c1778. Marble antique vase.

Rare Piranesi urn etching c1778. Marble antique vase.

by Piranesi, Giovanni Battista/Francesco

Piranesi etching of antique marble vase: Vaso antico di marmo vagamente ornato con fusti di edera intrecciati e vari uccelli scherzanti... (Antique marble vase imaginatively ornamented with stems of ivy intertwined Original Antique Print by Piranesi: Dedicato a sua Eccellenza Milord Fortrose.. (Dedicated to His Excellency Lord Fortrose.. ) 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.

Giambattista 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.

Originals of Piranesi Vases and Urns are rarely seen, but reproductions of them are still enjoyed today as contemporary décor. This superb 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). It is interesting to see Henry Moses chose this particular Piranesi study as an example of the finest classical artwork. (See following item.)

Stock Number: apcP.5Price: $800.00