Piranesi: Trofei di Ottaviano Augusto

Giovanni Battista Piranesi, one of the most renowned neoclassical etchers, was born in Venice in 1720. When still a young man, he astounded his patrons with his ability to carefully balance the dramatic and informative nuances of etching in such a way as to both make a statement and capture the essence of his subject matter.

The ten plates in this exhibition are from his 1780 edition of Trofei di Ottaviano Agusto, first released in 1753. The Trofei were originally produced because Piranesi felt they would appeal to painters, sculptors and architects. Their appeal, however, proved to be much wider.

Viewing these plates, one is immediately impressed by the amount of minute detail that Piranesi was able to capture and incorporate into his work. His acute vision, no less than his graphic power, is clearly revealed and one is left with the impression that his recreation of the architectural renderings are at least as worthy of tribute as are the originals that inspired them.