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Giovanni Battista Piranesi

Giovanni Battista Piranesi

Giovanni Battista Piranesi PortraitPiranesi was born in 1720 in the Republic of Venice. His brother introduced him to the ancient Roman civilization and from 1740 he studied in Rome under Giuseppe Vasi who taught him the art of etching and engraving. In 1748–1774 he created a long series of views (Vedute) of the city which established his fame and for which he continued to produce plates for the series until the year of his death in 1778.

Piranesi’s popular Vedute, which eclipsed earlier views of Roman landmarks through their composition, bold lighting effects, dramatic presentation and fantastical elements, shaped European conceptions to such an extent that Goethe, who had come to know Rome through Piranesi’s prints, was somewhat disappointed on his first encounter with the real thing.
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