Giovanni Battista Piranesi

Vindicibus et Protectoribus Bonarum Artium I B Piranesius. (G B Piranesi [dedicates this work] to the Champions and Defenders of the Fine Arts). Frontispiece to Volume IV A monumental Roman harbour.

Vindicibus et Protectoribus Bonarum Artium I B Piranesius. (G B Piranesi [dedicates this work] to the Champions and Defenders of the Fine Arts). Frontispiece to Volume IV  A monumental Roman harbour. by Giovanni Battista Piranesi

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The first frontispiece to Antichità romane IV was dedicated to Piranesi's patron the first Earl of Charlemont. However, the promised sponsorship never eventuated, so the artist created this second version, in which he laid out his reasons for the change. Triumphal arches were often placed on the main roads leading into a city, but here Piranesi imagines a river symbolising access, both as a means of transport but also access to the sea as a means of maintaining nautical power. The reclining figure in the foreground is an ancient river god.

Title
Vindicibus et Protectoribus Bonarum Artium I B Piranesius. (G B Piranesi [dedicates this work] to the Champions and Defenders of the Fine Arts). Frontispiece to Volume IV A monumental Roman harbour.
Artist/creator
Production date
1756
Medium
etching
Dimensions
403 x 537 mm
Inscription
Gio Batta Piranesi Invent. ED. Incise (below image l.l.)
Credit line
Mackelvie Trust Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, bequest of Dr Walter Auburn, 1982
Accession no
M1982/1/4/33
Copyright
No known copyright restrictions
Department
International Art
Display status
Not on display

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