Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778)

[Antique print, etching, Piranesi] Uno delli due Dadi fatti a guisa di Piedestallo in tutto simili, i quali esistono nel Museo Capitolino. (Piramide van Cestius), published 1756-1784, 1 p.

Plate XLII from the III 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. Two plates, one with illustration, the other with explanatory text.

Titled below: ‘Uno delli due Dadi fatti a guisa di Piedestallo in tutto simili, i quali esistono nel Museo Capitolino.’

Signed on the bottom right: ‘Piranesi Archit. dis. ed inc.‘.

“The plate reproduces various archaeological finds found near the Pyramid of Cestius, at the time of the excavations commissioned by Pope Alexander VII in 1667. In particular, one of the two plinths bearing the testamentary inscription, preserved – today as then – at the Capitoline Museums (CIL, VI), on which the bronze statues dedicated to Caio Cestio were placed. Fragments of the same statues, some drums, capitals and, in the background, the two columns that were erected on the sides of the tomb during the excavation are here visible.
Compared to the previous antiquarian tradition represented by Santi Bartoli (1693, pl. 49, 1349/65), whose corresponding table shows an aseptic reproduction of the plinth with the fragments of the statue above, the image highlights the innovative methodological approach of the Venetian architect, characterized by the combination of scientific documentation and compositional invention. Piranesi interprets each of the individual elements with profound autoptic rigor, of which he reports fractures and gaps, assembling them in a new scenographic configuration that amplifies the purely documentary value of the plate. […]”[Ciro Salinitro, ICG Rome]

De Piramide van Cestius is een antieke piramide in Rome. De piramide staat aan de Via Ostiensis vlak bij de Porta San Paolo, aan de rand van Rome. De piramide werd in de Middeleeuwen “Meta Remi” genoemd. Ondanks de grote inscriptie met de naam Gaius Cestius dachten de Romeinen destijds dat dit de graftombe was van Remus, de tweelingbroer van de stichter van de stad Rome, Romulus. Waarschijnlijk was de piramide destijds zo overwoekerd met planten dat de inscriptie onleesbaar was.

Etching with some interventions in burin on hand laid paper, with broad margins; plate mark: 559 x 391 mm; total 800 x 574 mm; somewhat frayed end margins, a damp stain on the bottom margin, otherwise in great condition. Visible watermark.

Incl. BTW  296,45

Excl. BTW  245,00

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