Piranesi Antique Architectural Prints
Views, Vases, Architectural Fragments
Vedute di Roma
St. Peter's Basilica
18th C. Edition
St. Peters Basilica

Bouchard, Rome: c. 1740s-60;
G.B. Piranesi, Rome: c. 1760-70s
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Vedute di Roma
Temple of Hercules
18th C. Edition
Temple of Hercules at Cora

Bouchard, Rome: c. 1740s-60;
G.B. Piranesi, Rome: c. 1760-70s
$2,500
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Vedute di Roma
Basilica of Maxentius
Regia Calcografia Edition
Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine

Regia Calcografia, Rome: 1870-1945
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Vedute di Roma
Various Images
Regia Calcografia Editions
Regio Calcografia editions of Piranesi Prints

Regia Calcografia, Rome: 1870-1945
$1,250 each
See available inventory.

Trajan's Column
Trajan's Column Trajan's Column

Giovanni Battista, Rome: 1774-79
See available inventory for price information.

Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778) (artist and etcher)
Assorted Architectural Prints
Rome: Various publication dates, 18th and 19th Century
Black-and-white copperplate etchings and engravings
Various Prices

We offer a broad selection of Piranesi architectural prints, published in Rome in the 18th century, including his famous Vedute di Roma, comprising views the ancient buildings and monuments of Rome. Also featured are prints from Vasi, illustrating ancient vases, candelabra, and other artifacts, many depicting actual antiquities that were sold by Piranesi and his son, Francesco. For prints from each series, please click on the images above.

Giovanni Battista Piranesi was a multi-talented and accomplished man of the enlightenment who combined supreme artistic ability and historical scholarship with an entrepreneurial business sense. He was at once an artist, architect, archeologist, designer, collector, and print and antiquities dealer. Many consider him one of the most influential artists in the development and popularization of the neoclassical style of the late 18th Century. According to scholar John Wilton-Ely, the distinguishing characteristics of Piranesi’s early works were “the unorthodox combination of classical motifs, the manipulation of superhuman scale, the organization of powerfully receding perspectives upon diagonal axes, and the modulation of space by means of skilful lighting.” Piranesi’s work was recognized with his election as a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in England in 1757. He was knighted by the Pope in 1765. Although Piranesi composed and etched many of his works, his son Francesco (1758-1810) and studio assistants such as Vincenzo Dolcibene also etched a significant number of the prints, especially in later years.

Piranesi etched and published numerous folio print sets of art, architecture and archaeology of Rome and environs, that served as source material for other architects and designers. They were sold as souvenirs to English aristocrats on the Grand Tour in Italy or by subscription directly to British patrons. Among those influenced by Piranesi was the great British architect Robert Adam (1728-92), who was a colleague of Piranesi while in Rome on the Grand Tour in the 1750s. From the 1760s onward, Piranesi supplemented his printing business by joining the thriving trade in the restoration and sale antiquities to Grand Tour travelers. Piranesi's interest in these objects went well beyond historical restoration and marketing -- he also advocated emulating the creativity of the Roman designers and integrating motifs from Greek and Roman antiquities with a contemporary sensibility to produce new and strikingly original works. The British were particularly good customers, so he set up his workshop and showrooms close to the British quarter of Rome. After Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s death in 1778, Francesco and another son, Pietro, continued to republish Piranesi prints and sell antiquities.

References:

Hind, Arthur M. Giovanni Battista Piranesi: A Critical Study. With a List of his Published Works and Detailed Catalogues of the Prisons and the Views of Rome. London: Holland Press, 1978. (reprint of 1922 ed.) pp. 1-3.

Wilton-Ely, John. Giovanni Battista Piranesi: The Complete Etchings. San Francisco: Alan Wofsy Fine Arts, 1994. 2 volumes.