Piranesi's Architectural Fantasies

Venetian born artist Piranesi (1720-1778) may have been trained as a builder, but his greatest architectural feats exist in his engravings, scenes of fantastical architecture that he sold to tourists in Rome during his youth.

"Piranesi shows us that fantasy can have a more lasting impact than a concrete monument to the ego," says Nicolai Ouroussoff, from a New York Times piece on Piranesi.

From the Carceri d'Invenzione (imaginary prisons) series, 1761

"The Drawbridge," from the Carceri d'Invenzione (imaginary prisons) series, 1761 image via Artchive

One of Piranesi's furniture designs. Image via New York Times.


Maria Confer said...

The details in his engravings and furniture are just mind blowing.



I know! It baffles the mind that they were sold to tourists as souvenirs!

Cristin said...

The Baltimore Museum of Art owns that print and I've seen it in person in their Prints, Drawings and Photographs dept room. You really need to see it with a magnifying glass, it's unbelievable!

jasonwclark said...

Two winning Giovannis in one weekend - This is amazing! I'm so very glad I followed the link to your place.

I'll be sporting a permagrin for the rest of the day now, and if I ever hit the big time, you can be sure I'm calling on (in)decorous taste for all my furniture needs.

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