Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778)

[Antique print, etching, Piranesi] Camera Sepolcrale… (tomb chamber of L. Arruntius), published 1756-1784, 1 p.

Plate XVI from the II out of four volumes collection Le Antichità Romane collecting plates by Giovanni Battista Piranesi, firstly published by Angelo Rotili in Rome between 1756 and 1757. The second edition appeared in 1784. Original wide margins, no traces of binding or folding. Incription within the illustration plate.

Titled below: ‘CAMERA SEPOLCRALE pochi passi distante da quella gia descritta della Famiglia di L. Arrunzio nella stessa vigna, scoperta l’anno 1736…

Signed on the bottom right: ‘Piranesi Architetto dis. e scolp.’ .

“Near the tomb of the Arrunzi another burial chamber with dovecotes was found, intended for the burial of members of plebeian families. The room is documented in a small etching view engraved by Nicolò Mogalli for the collection Various views of ancient and modern Rome designed and carved by famous authors, Rome 1748 (plate 54), published by Fausto Amidei. The same table was later reused in Ridolfino Venuti’s Accurate and succinct description (1763, I, plate 44; cf. Pasquali 2006, p. 182).
In comparison with this iconographic precedents, the matrix in question – engraved by Piranesi in 1750 or shortly after to be published among the tables of the Sepulchral Chambers, and subsequently inserted in  Le Antichità Romane – is placed on a completely different communicative level: where Mogalli’s view was limited to the recording of a semi-empty underground space, Piranesi proposes a large-format image, portrayed from a slightly rotated angle compared to that of the small view, with the perspective that closes on the back wall, where the door was opened that allowed the descent into the room; above all, the representation as a whole is much more articulated and rich in narrative details. The composition is less complex than the other two views of the underground rooms that precede it, namely the rooms of the Arrunzi, to reflect the modesty of the clients: it is a single barrel-vaulted room on whose bare walls are distributed rows of niches for columbaria to place the urns with the ashes of the dead. […]” (Mariasole Garacci, ICG, Rome).

Translated title: Tomb chamber of L. Arruntius / Grafkamer van Lucius Arruntius.

Lucius Arruntius (27 BC-37 AD) was a Roman senator praised by the ancient Roman historian Tacitus.

Etching with some interventions in burin on hand laid paper, with broad margins; plate mark: 398 x 601 mm; total 547 x 795 mm; a damp stain on the right margin, some tiny holes within plate, somewhat frayed end margins with some rubbing, otherwise in great condition.

Incl. BTW  326,70

Excl. BTW  270,00

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