- Museum number
Architectural fantasy with monuments, sculpture and ruins
Pen and brown ink, with brown wash, over black and red chalk, on one sheet overlaid, upper left corner made up
- Production date
- 1745-1750 (circa)
Height: 253 millimetres
Width: 460 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Thomas compares this to a drawing in Hamburg (1916/652; Thomas no. 26 and Bettagno no. 21) of a vaguely similar subject. Stylistically the two drawings are dissimilar as the Hamburg one is much broader in handling with extensive areas of dark wash (Thomas dates it to c.1750 but it is almost certainly later), whereas the BM sheet is much more controlled and detailed. The nervous, flickering penwork and disciplined use of generally rather thin and semi-transparent wash in the London drawing is found in works of the mid-to-late 1740s, like the group of studies of fantastic monuments reproduced in A. Robison, 'Piranesi: early architectural fantasies, a catalogue raisonné of the etchings', Chicago and London, 1986, figs 37-9.
Piranesi appears to have made the drawing on a large single sheet, and then dissatisfied for some reason with the area on the left he proceeded to stick a smaller sheet over the original one in order to redraw this section.
Lit.: H. Thomas, 'The Drawings of Giovanni Battista Piranesi', London, 1954, under no. 26; E. Croft-Murray, in exhib. cat., BM, 'Giovanni Battista Piranesi', 1968, no. 153; A. Bettagno, in exhib. cat., Venice, Fondazione Cini, 'Disegni di Giambattista Piranesi', 1978, under no. 21
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1968 BM, Piranesi, no.32
2003 May-July, Sth Bank Tour, Northumbria Univ Gall, Piranesi's Carceri
2003 July-Oct, Sth Bank Tour, York, City AG, Piranesi's Carceri
2003 Oct-Dec, Sth Bank Tour, Milton Keynes AG, Piranesi's Carceri
2003/4 Dec-Feb, Sth Bank Tour, Bath, Victoria AG, Piranesi's Carceri
2020 20 Feb-9 Aug, London, BM, 'Piranesi's drawings'.
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number