In this FULL VERSION, designed for iPhone® and iPad®, you will find over 100 Etchings by the Master Piranesi. Enjoy the high quality images of his drawings, share them with your friends via email, and learn about the artist life.
Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778), was an Italian etcher, archaeologist and architect. He was born in Venice and was active in Rome from 1740. He 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. His most remarkable etchings are perhaps those of imaginary interiors, the Carceri d’Invenzione (Imaginary Prisons), a series of plates issued in 1749-50 and reworked in 1761.
Piranesi’s influence as an architect may have been negligible, but his romanticized views and imaginary interiors had a profound effect on stage designers, painters and even writers. In the 20th century his imaginary interiors have been admired by the Surrealists and provided source material for horror film set designers.