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PIRANESI, Giovanni Battista (1720--1778)
Differentes vues de qvelqves restes de trois grandes edifices qvi svbsistent encore dans le miliev de l'ancienne ville de Pesto avtrement Possidonia qvi est sitvée dans la Lvcanie
[Rome]: [F. Piranesi], [1778].
Etch. t.-pl., XX etch. pl. ; 76.5 cm (1°)

The title is taken from the etched title-plate which, together with the two final plates (pl. XIX and XX), is signed by Piranesi's son 'Franciscus Piranesi fecit.'. The remaining eighteen plates are signed 'Cav. Piranesi F.' and represent the last and perhaps the most magnificently sombre of all Piranesi's etchings. In spite of the evidence of the signatures, it is probable that Francesco assisted his ailing father in completing all the plates, perhaps principally by contributing suitable rustic staffage and picturesque groups of cattle etc. Unusually finished preparatory drawings for seventeen of the etchings survive: one in the Bibliothèque Nationale, one in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, and fifteen in the Soane Museum. The latter relate to pl. II--XIV, XVI and XVII (Soane Museum Inv. Nos: F9 (51), F10 (54), F18 (69), F19 (70), F20 (71), F21 (72), F22 (74), F23 (75), F24 (76), F25 (77), F64 (125), F70 (133), F76 (139), F77 (140), and F78 (146)) and were acquired by Soane at Christie's sale of the collection of drawings and engravings of Charles Lambert, 24--26 March 1817 (q.v.); Soane's accounts show a payment to Christie of £14 5s. on 26 March 1817, but without any indication of what this was for. Lambert had purchased the drawings in Italy: see The Reflector: a quarterly magazine, on subjects of philosophy, politics, and the liberal arts, vol. 2 (1811), p. 190. For further details see SJSM Newsletter no. 20 (Spring 2009); J. Wilton-Ely, Piranesi, Paestum & Soane, exh. cat., Soane Museum, London 2002, p. 67, no. 48); Hind, Piranesi, p. 87; BAL Early printed books, no. 2555.

Copy Notes Bound third in a composite collection of engravings etched and/or published by Francesco Piranesi. Bound in at the end is a pair of engravings by Girolamo Carattoni after drawings by Tomasso Piroli of antique paintings of dancers found in the ruins of Pompei, viz.: 'Una della danzatrici o ministre di feste Bacchiche ...' (31.5 x 25 cm.) dated as engraved in 1787, and 'Danzatrice seminuda ... trovata nella ruine di Pompeja con altri simili l'anno 1749 ...' (31.5 x 25 cm.); both bear Francesco Piranesi's imprint and were included in a later state among the miscellaneous group of his engravings that form vol. 23 of the collected Opere di Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Francesco Piranesi e d'altri issued by Firmin Didot in Paris between 1835 and 1839. (For digital reproductions of this later state see the University of Tokyo website 'Opere di Giovanni Battista Piranesi', Kamei Collection, nos. 1023.a and 1023.b at http://www.picure.l.u-tokyo.ac.jp:8080/FMPro?-db=sougouwebcp.fp5&-format=%2fdetail%5fcdml%5fe.html&-sortfield=image%5fid&-op=eq&volume=23&-max=1&-skip=11&-token.0=25&-find= (Accessed 8 February 2008.)

Binding C19th 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 6422


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