\ A VOZ PORTALEGRENSE: Giovanni Battista Piranesi

terça-feira, janeiro 05, 2010

Giovanni Battista Piranesi

Giovanni Battista (also Giambattista) Piranesi (4 October 1720 - 9 November 1778) was an Italian artist famous for his etchings of Rome and of fictitious and atmospheric "prisons" (Carceri d'Invenzione).
Piranesi was born in in Mogliano Veneto, near Treviso, then part of the Republic of Venice. His brother Andrea introduced him to Latin and the ancient civilisation, and later he studied as architect under his uncle, Matteo Lucchesi, who was Magistrato delle Acque, a Venetian engineer specialized with excavations
From 1740 he was in Rome with Marco Foscarini, the Venetian envoy to the Vatican. He resided in the Palazzo Venezia and studied with Giuseppe Vasi, who introduced him to the art of etching and engraving. After his breakout from Vasi, he collaborated with pupils of the French Academy in Rome to a series of vedute of the city; his first work was Prima parte di Architettura e Prospettive (1743), followed in 1745 by Varie Vedute di Roma Antica e Moderna.
From 1743 to 1747 he sojourned mainly in Venice were, according to some sources, he frequented Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. Then he returned to Rome, where he opened a workshop in Via del Corso. In 1748-1774 he created a long series of vedute of the city which established his fame. In the meantime Piranesi devoted himself to the measurement of much of the ancient edifices: this led to the publication of Antichità Romane de' tempo della prima Repubblica e dei primi imperatori ("Roman Antiquities of the Time of the First Republic and the First Emperors". In 1761 he became a member of the Accademia di San Luca and opened a printing facility of his own. In 1762 the Campo Marzio dell'antica Roma collection of engravings was printed.
The following year he was commissioned by Pope Clement XIII to restore the choir of San Giovanni in Laterano, but it did not materialize. In 1764 Piranesi started his sole architectural works of importance, the restoration of the church of Santa Maria del Priorato in the Villa of the Knights of Malta in Rome, where he was buried after his death.
In 1767 he was created knight of the Papal States. In 1777-78 Piranesi published Different vues de Pesto, a collection of vedute of Paestum.
He died in Rome in 1778 after a long illness.

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