Piranesi: The Complete Etchings by Luigi FicacciPiranesi: The Complete Etchings by Luigi Ficacci

Piranesi: The Complete Etchings

byLuigi Ficacci

Hardcover | May 19, 2016

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Archaeology and imagination: Impossible staircases and startling ruins from Italy’s master engraver

The most famous 18th-century copper engraver, Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–1778) made his name with etchings of ancient Rome. His startling, chiaroscuro images imbued the city’s archaeological ruins with drama and romance and became favorite souvenirs for the Grand Tourists who travelled Italy in pursuit of classical culture and education.

Today, Piranesi is renowned not just for shaping the European imagination of Rome but also for his elaborate series of fanciful prisons Carceri d’Invenzione, which have influenced generations of creatives since, from the Surrealists to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Edgar Allen Poe, Jorge Luis Borges and Franz Kafka.

Loosely based on contemporary stage sets rather than the actual dingy dungeons of Piranesi’s day, these intricate images defy architectural reality to play instead with perspective, lighting, and scale. Staircases exist on two planes simultaneously; vast, vaulted ceilings seem to soar up to the heavens; interior and exterior distinctions collapse. With a low viewpoint and small, fragile figures, the prison scenes become monstrous mega-cities of incarceration, celebrated to this day as masterworks of existentialist drama.

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Text in English, French, and German
Title:Piranesi: The Complete EtchingsFormat:HardcoverDimensions:856 pages, 7.7 × 5.5 × 0.98 inPublished:May 19, 2016Publisher:Taschen America LlcLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:3836559404

ISBN - 13:9783836559409

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