Piranesi Giovanni Battista

Posted by Fabio 26 March 2010

Piranesi, Giovanni Battista – Italian etcher, archaeologist and architect. Battista was born in Venice and was active in Rome from 1740. Battista was famous for his poetic views of Rome and also his fantastic imaginary interiors. Trained in Venice as an engineer and architect, his studies had included perspective and stage design.
These skills, allied to his deep knowledge of archaeology, provided the substance for his Vedute (Views), a series of 135 etchings of ancient and contemporary Rome, published from 1745 onwards, which established the popular mental image of the city. Piranesi’s image was a thoroughly romanticized one, with effects of scale exploited to make the buildings appear larger and grander and exaggerating the contrasts of light and shade to invest them with drama.

Trevi Fountain in Rome, 1750

The Pyramid of Cestius in Rome, 1700s

S. Constanza, mid 1800s

The Ponte Molle, 1762

The Colosseum, 1757

Portrait of Giovanni Battista Piranesi, 1756