Plate LVII 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. Two plates, one with the illustration and title, the second below with the description.
Titled below: ‘Urne, Cippi, e Vasi cenerarj di marmo nella Villa Corsini.’
Signed on the bottom: ‘Piranesi Architetto dis. ed inc.‘
“In 1697 Santi Bartoli inserted in Gli Antichi Sepolcri an entire chapter dedicated to the Sepolcri Antichissimi di Famiglie varie ritrovati adesso insieme, nella parte della Via Aurelia, dove è la Villa Corsina. He drew and engraved the plan of numerous sepulchral rooms found in those areas, providing some of the external elevation, of others representing an internal wall with paintings and stuccos still in place, vases and mosaic floors (tables 3-24, 1349/4 -26).
Half a century later, the urns and cinerary vessels found in the area of the villa had been ordered on a wall near the Casino designed by Alessandro Algardi, having demolished the burial chambers that housed them. So Piranesi displays them.
Santi Bartoli is, once again, a reference for our architect: the urn depicted in the foreground in this panel is in fact the same (the inscription affixed above C IVLI CAESARI L APPAES coincides) that Santi Bartoli still drew in its original context, in a niche in the center of the interior façade of one of the tombs of the Villa Corsina in which its ornaments of stuccoes and paintings are outlined (plate 7, 1349/9).
Furthermore, the sarcophagi surmounted by tympanums decorated with ornamental bas-reliefs have undoubted similarities with the two that Santi Bartoli represented on the sides of the urn with an inscription.
If these were the iconographic presuppositions, the gap that separates the documentary work of the seventeenth-century illustrator from the grandiloquent, dynamic and extremely pictorial spatial approach proposed by Piranesi in this view is enormous. […]” (Giovanna Scaloni, ICG, Rome)
Translated title: Urns, stelae, and cinerary vases of marble at the Villa Corsini, outside Porta San Pancrazio / Urnen, stèles en asvazen van marmer in de Villa Corsini, buiten Porta San Pancrazio.
Etching with some interventions in burin on hand laid paper, with broad margins; plate with illustration: 400 x 611 mm; text plate: 49 x 623 mm; total 555 x 800 mm; some tiny holes within plate, somewhat frayed end margins, otherwise in great condition.
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