Old Master and Related Works Online Auction

March 31, 2016

LOT 67
Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778)
  • Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778)
  • Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778)
  • Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778)


Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778), Italian


Etching on paper with legend, laid down to a support board; signed, titled, and inscribed with letters to bottom margin, numbered “31 / 715” in the plate upper right corner of the image as issued in this later edition published by Firmin-Didot, Paris 1835-1839.
Plate/Sheet 21.5" x 16.25" — 54.5 x 41.3 cm.; 67" x 19.75" — 170.2 x 50.2 cm.

Estimate $400-$600

Realised: $420
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

About artist/note:

The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries saw a rise in connoisseurship if original prints. Amongst the most popular was Piranesi, who, along with his contemporaries Canaletto and the Tiepolos (Giovanni and his son Domenico), perfected that Italian approach to etching, “which was dominated by a basic simplicity and respect of the innate character of the etched line.” Notably, Piranesi modified this approach by intensifying the range of biting, and thus, the tonal contrast. “Along with this powerful chiaroscuro, their impressive scale and the unflagging grandeur with which they are composed make Piranesi’s works a high point in the history of etching. That they are principally architectural views does not diminish their capacity to move us, for Piranesi’s architecture is moody, drenched in the human history that produced and inhabited it.”


Linda C. Hults, The Print in the Western World, 1996, p. 323;
Arthur M.  Hind, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, (Original work published 1922) (2013), p. 52-3, no. 51