Giovanni Battista Piranesi

Mogliano Veneto 1720 – 1778 Rome

Trajan’s and Antonine Columns
Trofeo o sia Magnifica Colonna Colclide…, pair

11′-4″ x 3′-9″, 345 x 88.9 cm. in frame, early Paris edition etchings

Despite the profusion of Italian architectural ruins painters in the 18th century – Gian Paolo Panini, chief among them – the genre’s most famous artist was an etcher, running off, for forty years, multiple, inked copies of the most suggestive views of hulking, crumbling Rome. Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s concluding works included these monumental (nearly ten feet tall!), multi-sheet views of two of Rome’s more intact monuments – the Antonine and Trajan Columns – from his ca. 1776 volume Trofeo o sia Magnifico Colonna Coclide. This pair of etchings was printed posthumously in Paris in the first part of the 19th century.

Light foxing, repaired tears at edges. Top sheet of Trajan’s Column made up, not affecting image.