Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • The Octagonal Room in the Small Baths at the Villa of Hadrian (Tivoli): Study for Vedute di Roma, Dieta o sia luogo che da ingressoa diversi grandiosi Cubicoli, e ad altre magnifiche Stanze, esistente nella Villa Adriana, ca. 1777
    Giovanni Battista Piranesi (Italian, 1720–1778)
    Red chalk over black chalk or charcoal with partly ruled construction; sheet glued onto secondary paper support; 15 1/2 x 21 3/4 in. (39.4 x 55.3 cm)
    Purchase, Anonymous Gift and Gift of George and Lisa McFadden, 1994 (1994.20)

    The Venetian Piranesi was active as a draftsman, designer, architect, archaeologist, and theorist, but it is as a printmaker that he achieved his most enduring fame. His technically brilliant and exceedingly influential etchings reflect his antiquarian interests and offered audiences across Europe a rich visual record, at once archaeological and poetic, of the glories of ancient Rome.

    This drawing represents an octagonal chamber—perhaps an apodyterium, or changing room—in the bath complex at Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli, the sprawling remains of which provided subject matter for a number of Piranesi's prints. It is a preparatory study for an etching in the second volume of his Vedute di Roma (Views of Rome), an ambitious undertaking in which the artist was engaged for more than thirty years. The corresponding print—his final view of Hadrian's Villa—was published in 1777, one year before his death. Piranesi's enduring fascination with the marvels of Roman architecture and engineering is manifest in his faithful depiction of its arches, masonry, and partially preserved poured concrete roof. A certain poetic, proto-Romantic sensibility mitigates the strictly archaeologizing view: the overgrown, decaying ruins are an ineffable reminder of the passage of time and the transience of earthly life.

    Related


    Not on view
    Move Separator Print
    Close
  • The Octagonal Room in the Small Baths at the Villa of Hadrian (Tivoli): Study for Vedute di Roma, Dieta o sia luogo che da ingressoa diversi grandiosi Cubicoli, e ad altre magnifiche Stanze, esistente nella Villa Adriana, ca. 1777
    Giovanni Battista Piranesi (Italian, 1720–1778)
    Red chalk over black chalk or charcoal with partly ruled construction; sheet glued onto secondary paper support; 15 1/2 x 21 3/4 in. (39.4 x 55.3 cm)
    Purchase, Anonymous Gift and Gift of George and Lisa McFadden, 1994 (1994.20)


    Move
    Close