The historian John Wilton-Ely's studies of Piranesi: the architect, stage designer and engraver, who renewed the vision of antiquity in Europe.
This volume retraces the work of Giovanni Battista Piranesi, architect, set designer and engraver, who
from the age of twenty travelled as a draughtsman in the retinue of Marco Foscarini, the Venetian envoy in Rome, and began the study of Roman architecture. Under the guidance of Giuseppe Vasi he began to work as a vedutista and explored the techniques of etching and copperplate engraving.
His first cycle of engravings, of 1743, was titled Prima parte di architetture e prospettive, and presented views of cities executed with the techniques of burin engraving and etching, and was followed by Grotteschi and Capricci. After many years spent studying and surveying innumerable buildings of ancient Rome, he produced the important cycle of engravings Vedute di Roma, which exercised a powerful influence all through theNeo-Classical period and, in 1760, his celebrated Carceri d’invenzione. His engraved plates were distinguished by a conception of dignity and splendour expressed through the magnificence and isolation of the architectural elements in such a way as to exalt the grandeur of antiquity.