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Terracotta Cinerary Urn with Pegasus flying horse. Piranesi c1778.

Terracotta Cinerary Urn with Pegasus flying horse. Piranesi c1778.


by Giovanni Battista Piranesi

Superb quality, rare Piranesi etching. Vaso cinerario di terra cotta, che si vede nella raccolta de disegni del Cavalier Ghezzi nella Biblioteca Vaticana.. (Cinerary Urn in Terracotta.. in the Vatican Library). 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. 

Rarely seen today. these original engravings of Piranesi Vases and Urns are in superb condition. (Heritage Editions reproductions from them are still enjoyed today as contemporary décor.) 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: apGBP.3Price: $950.00