Giovanni Battista Piranesi

Sepolcro di Cecilia Metella ... (Tomb of Caecilia Metella ...)

Sepolcro di Cecilia Metella ... (Tomb of Caecilia Metella ...) by Giovanni Battista Piranesi

Artwork Detail

The tomb of Cecilia Metella on the Appian Way has had a chequered history. Called the Capo di Bove (Head of a Beast) because of the frieze of ox skulls beneath the battlements, the building changed form in the Middle Ages when the Caetani family transformed it into a fortress.

Piranesi continued working on his Views of Rome throughout his lifetime. His later plates pushed his techniques of etching and composition to remarkable heights, while his recording of the ancient relics of the city have been described as a profound metaphor for the transience of human achievements.

Sepolcro di Cecilia Metella ... (Tomb of Caecilia Metella ...)
Giovanni Battista Piranesi
Production date
448 x 634 mm
Credit line
Mackelvie Trust Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, bequest of Dr Walter Auburn, 1982
Accession no
Other ID
033 Auburn Catalogue
No known copyright restrictions
International Art
Display status
Not on display

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