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Gianbattista Piranesi
Mozano di Mestre, Venice 1720 – 1778 Rome

Tempio Antico
Ancient Temple

Gianbattista Piranesi, Mozano di Mestre, Venice 1720 – 1778 Rome. Tempio Antico. Original etching, c1743.

Tempio Antico
Ancient Temple
Robison 19 undescribed intermediary state i-ii/iv ; and ii/iv
400 x 258 mm
Two impressions in the ‘1st’ and 2nd states, offered together.
Original etchings, signed in the plate and dated 1743.
Without a plate number.
The ‘first’ state, before the caption*, as published in the 5th and 6th issues of the 1st edition, 1748-49.
The various early ‘proof’ issues were continual revisions by Piranesi within one overall ‘umbrella’ First Edition.
Some condition problems.

Gianbattista Piranesi, Mozano di Mestre, Venice 1720 – 1778 Rome. Tempio Antico. Original etching, c1743.
The second state, with the lengthy description added to the previously ‘blank’ lower border, as issued 1750 – mid 1780’s, before the addition of either of the later plate numbers.
Good condition.

£2000

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Additional Information about the Print

Prima Parte di Architetture, e Prospettive
Piranesi’s first published work. The first issue, in 1743 comprised the title and twelve plates, the majority of which were grandiose imaginary architectural designs inspired by Piranesi’s personal reaction as an aspiring newly trained creative architect to the impact and colossal scale of Rome’s ancient ruins. Buildings he would have liked to actually build, which he peopled with visitors or inhabitants in contemporary 18th century dress.

The title plate and plate 4 Rovine d’antichi Edifizi (Ruins of ancient buildings) were ‘romantic’ capriccio compositions. The latter plate he copied a few years later, enlarging the spirit of romanticism, as a new plate (Ruine de Sepolcro antico) included in the third issue of the first edition, 1747.

The various early ‘proof’ issues were continual revisions by Piranesi within one overall ‘umbrella’ first edition. There was never a Seconda Parte di Architetture, e Prospettive; but Piranesi added overall eight new plates to later issues of the Prima Parte.

Gianbattista Piranesi, Mozano di Mestre, Venice 1720 – 1778 Rome. Tempio Antico. Original etching, c1743. Gianbattista Piranesi, Mozano di Mestre, Venice 1720 – 1778 Rome. Tempio Antico. Original etching, c1743.

Piranesi rarely dated his prints. The Tempio Antico, exceptionally is dated. Though dated 1743, it was not published in a Prima Parte issue until 1748. Only one other of the Prima Parte plates is dated, coincidentally also 1743, and also only added by Piranesi to the 1748 issue.

*The impression offered here is before the caption of the 2nd state, but the lower border is no longer completely blank, as described by Robison. There are very faint traces of guide lines and some initial text of an earlier discontinued caption.

Prints from Prima Parte in this exhibition are: