Adina Sommer`s Rare Antique Maps and Contemporary Art

Veduta della Basilica di S Giovanni Laterano.

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Article ID EUI4420
Artist Piranesi (1758-1810)
Francesco Piranesi was the son of the engraver, archaeologist and architect Giovanni Battista Piranesi. Like his father, he created etchings of monuments in the city of Rome, whereby, like his father, he paid special attention to ancient buildings and works of art. In 1785 he also drew the first commercially available plan of Pompeii, which was published in two further, revised versions by 1793. He also made pictures of various architectural monuments in Pompeii, such as the tomb of the priestess Mamia or the Temple of Isis. Piranesi accompanied his father on two trips to the ancient Roman ruins in Paestum, Pompei and Ercolano, first in 1770, and again in 1778. In this he was part of a group of engravers which collaborated with Benedetto Mori and the architect Augusto Rosa, considered the inventor of felloplastica, the art of constructing scale models of ancient monuments in cork. Giovanni Battista created a series of preparatory drawings about Paestum, which were completed by Francesco. Upon his father's death, shortly after the second trip, Francesco acquired his father's publishing house and was responsible for printing most of the later editions of his prints. Piranesi collaborated with the French artist Louis Jean Desprez on a series of views of Naples, Pompeii and Rome, which were advertised in 1783 as dessins coloriés and sold at Piranesi's shop in Rome. Although the 1783 advertisement promised 48 views, the series was not completed before Desprez left Rome to enter the employ of King Gustav III of Sweden. In the following years, Piranesi built his reputation primarily upon his engravings of antique statuary. In 1798 he went to France, where he lived during the French Revolution. The occupation of the Italian peninsula in 1798 by the French Revolutionary Army led to the establishment of the short-lived Roman Republic. Piranesi soon won the admiration of the French officials directing the republic, becoming a government official. When the republic fell the following year, together with his younger brother, Pietro, he moved to Paris where he soon gained the admiration of Talleyrand. They opened a new branch of the family enterprise there, called Piranesi Frères, which decorated a line of terracotta vases manufactured in imitation of the ancient Etruscan works by Joseph Bonaparte. In 1807 Pietro Piranesi sold his share of the firm and returned to Rome. Francesco fell upon hard times after this. The Emperor Napoleon came to his help, issuing an imperial decree granting the sum of 300,000 French francs, upon the condition that Piranesi dedicate himself solely to his engraving work, then considered the best in Europe. He died unexpectedly in Paris, however, before he could fulfill his contract.
Title Veduta della Basilica di S Giovanni Laterano.
Year ca. 1750
Description View of the Lateran Basilica (Italian: Basilica San Giovanni in Laterano), it is the cathedral of the diocese of Rome.
Place of Publication Rome
Dimensions (cm)38 x 52 cm
ConditionUpper margin some restoration
Coloringblack/white
TechniqueCopper print

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