Giovanni Battista Piranesi

The grand piazza - Carcere IV

The grand piazza - Carcere IV by Giovanni Battista Piranesi

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Nowhere was Piranesi more theatrical than in his remarkable depictions of prisons. Gloomy caverns open onto a warren of tunnels, arches, bridges, and vast buttresses, criss-crossed by great ropes and chains, suggesting grim tortures. They influenced stage designers in the latter part of the 18th century, as well as the romantic movement in the 19th century. Théophile Gautier wanted to stage Hamlet in such a setting, while Thomas de Quincey compared them to his own drug-induced deliriums.

Title
The grand piazza - Carcere IV
Artist/creator
Production date
1760-1761
Medium
etching
Dimensions
415 x 550 mm
Inscription
Piranesi F. (LR)
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1961
Accession no
1961/6
Copyright
No known copyright restrictions
Department
International Art
Display status
Not on display

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