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PIRANESI, Francesco (1759--1810)
La Grotta di Posilipo, cioè via sotterranea scavata nel vivo sasso per la lunghezza di più di due stadj fra Napoli e Pozzuolo pratticata dagli antichi per comodo della via littorale ad evitar la salita del monte
[Rome]: [F. Piranesi], 1791.
Etching with engraving ; 76.5 x 50.7 cm. (plate-mark)

The title is taken from the engraved caption in the bottom margin of the print. Signed and dated: L. Desprès del. Cav. Franc. Piranesi inc. 1791. This is one of series of separately issued engravings of dramatically lit scenarios engraved and published by Francesco after drawings by the stage-designer Louis-Jean Desprez (1743-1804) - others include 'Il Santo Padre in adorazione nella Cappella Paolina in Vaticano' (1787), 'Prospetto interiore del Tempio Vaticano ...' (1787), qq.v., 'Fuoco artificiale detto la Girandola ...' [1788?], and a view of the eruption of Vesuvius in 1779. A pen-and-watercolour drawing by Desprez in the British Museum (1864-12-10-438) was probably the basis of this print, which was also issued by Francesco in an earlier, outline-etched state intended for hand-colouring.

The Roman tunnel linking Naples and Pozzuoli is also known as the Crypta Neapolitana.

Copy Notes In a group of various prints engraved and / or published by Francesco Piranesi in the 1780s and early 1790s bound at the end of a copy of G.B. Piranesi's Differentes vues de qvelqves restes ... de l'ancienne ville de Pesto, [Rome, 1778] (q.v.).

Binding 19th half diced calf, gilt roll-tooled borders, marbled-paper boards, marbled edges, gilt-tooled spine, gilt lettered 'Colonna/ Traiano/ Pesto Adriana/ Pompei, &c.' Uniformly bound with Vedute di Roma [1747--1787] (q.v.) and Vasi candelabri cippi ... [1778--1791] (q.v.).

Reference Number 6446


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