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Grand Piranesi Urn etching. Piranesi Museum, Rome c1778.

Grand Piranesi Urn etching. Piranesi Museum, Rome c1778.

by Giovanni Battista Piranesi

Rare very large 18thC antique print. 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, Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778) for Vasi Candelabri Cippi y Sarcofagi Tripodi Lucerne ed Ornamenti Antichi published in Rome between 1773 and 1778.

Piranesi’s devotion to the study 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. Piranesi restored antiquities he found, and then incorporated elements from them into creations for his patrons and collectors. In 1766 Piranesi was awarded the Order of the Spur by Pope Clement XIII - after which he usually signed his work Cavalier Piranesi.

Piranesi was a graphic artist of technical brilliance and great expressive range. His etchings emulated intaglio engraving with a series of evenly drawn parallel lines. 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 etchings of Piranesi Vases and Urns are rarely seen today. This superb, double-size original Piranesi etching has a horizontal central fold to accommodate a large publication half its size. It is in fine condition - as are other18th century Pitanesi etchings of architectural subjects (under Architecture antique prints.)

Approximate page size 525 x 370mm (20.3/8 x 14.1/2 inches), and to plate mark 390 x 250mm (15.3/8 x 9.7/8 inches).

Stock Number: apGBP.9Price: $1,250.00