Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Eye Candy for Today: Piranesi architectural fantasy

Part of a spacious and magnificent harbor for the use of the ancient Romans opening onto a large market square..., Giovanni Battista Piranesi
Part of a spacious and magnificent harbor for the use of the ancient Romans opening onto a large market square…, Giovanni Battista Piranesi

Etching, engraving, drypoint and sulphur tint, 16×21″ (20x54cm). From a portfolio titled Various Works of Architecture, perspectives, grotesques, and antiquities; designed and etched by Giambattista Piranesi, Venetian Architect. In the collection of Metropolitan Museum of Art. Use the Fullscreen link and zoom controls or download arrow.

In addition to his more famous series of “Imaginary Prisons“, eighteenth century architect and artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi created a stunning series of graphics depicting actual Roman ruins, and others showcasing his fantastic imaginings of potential Roman architectural glory.

In all three ranges of subjects, Piranesi was fascinated with structures of enormous scale (far anticipating the exaggerated scale of imaginary environments favored by contemporary science fiction, fantasy and visual development artists).

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