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PIRANESI, Giovanni Battista (1720--1778)
Osservazioni di Gio. Battista Piranesi sopra la lettre de M. Mariette aux auteurs de la Gazette Littèraire de l'Europe, inserita nel supplemento dell'istessa gazetta stampata Dimanche 4. Novembre MDCCLIV [sic]. E Parere su l'architettura, con una prefazione ad un nuovo trattato della introduzione e del progresso delle belle arti in Europa ne' tempi antichi. In Roma M.DCC.LXV. Con licenza de' Superiori.
Roma: per Generoso Salomoni, 1765.
23, [1] p., etch. t.-pl., IX etch. pl. : etch. ill. ; 54.5 cm. (1°)

The title and imprint are taken from the title-plate. The colophon on p.23 reads: 'In Roma MDCCLXV. Per Generoso Salomoni. Con licenza de' Superiori.' Piranesi's 'Osservazioni' are printed in parallel with the text of Mariette's letter on pp. 1--8. The 'Parere su l'Architettura' (pp. 9--16) is cast in the form of a dialogue between 'Didascalo' (representing Piranesi) who argues for freedom of invention in architecture and 'Protopiro' (representing Piranesi's opponents) who wish to reduce it to barren first principles. The last part (pp. 17--23), consisting of a brief recapitulation of Piranesi's pro-Roman stance in the Graeco-Roman debate, was originally the only section of the work to be illustrated (with three plates numbered I--III depicting ruins at Chiusi and Corneto in Tuscany). The six plates of highly original fantastical architecture that accompany the 'Parere' were added only in copies issued from around 1772 onwards. The work was intended to form a supplement suitable for binding up with copies of Piranesi's Della magnificenza, 1761 (q.v.), with which it is (as here) usually found. See Hind, Piranesi, p. 86 and BAL Early printed books, no. 2563.

Copy Notes Bound (2) with Della magnificenza ed architettura de' Romani, 1761 (q.v.).

Binding C19th calf, gilt-ruled borders, gilt-ruled spine, red spine-label gilt-lettered 'Piranesi / De Romanar. / Magnificent. / Et / Architect'. Part of a 12-volume set re-bound by Hood and McCullock, to whom Soane paid £24 on 3 July 1826. (Archive 16/12/38).

Reference Number 6406


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