null
Advanced Search

Antique Altar (Plate 7 from the series: First Part of Architecture and Perspective)

Not on view

Antique Altar (Plate 7 from the series: First Part of Architecture and Perspective)

Artist: Giovanni Battista Piranesi (Italian, 1720 - 1778)

Date: 1743
Medium: Etching on paper
Dimensions:
Overall: 13 3/4 x 18 11/16in. (34.9 x 47.5cm)
Image: 9 1/8 x 13 3/8in. (23.2 x 34cm)
Inscribed: Recto [printed below image]: "Ara antica sopra la quale si facevano anticamente i sagrifizi, con altre ruine all' intorno./Gio Batta Piranesi Archetto inventó, ed incise in Roma. 7."
Credit Line: Gift of Edward W. Root
Object number: 53.151
Label Text
Piranesi was trained as an architect but worked throughout his career producing prints of the great monuments of Rome and the Renaissance. This print appeared in 1743 in Piranesi's first independent publication. Although not commercially successful, it contained the types of images that would reappear in his subsequent graphic output: architectural projects (both real and imagined), ruins, capriccios, grotesques and the like. As with many of Piranesi's images this print evokes nostalgia for a lost golden age. Classical fragments are arranged in picturesque fashion according to the dictates of the 18th century's taste for asymmetrical design. The skeletons and skulls liberally displayed throughout the design are powerful memento mori.

PDS
February 2005
Copyright
No known copyright restrictions.