Catalog Archive
Auction 146, Lot 610

Piranesi's Famous View of the Colosseum

"Veduta dell' Anfiteatro Flavio, Detto il Colosseo", Piranesi, Giovanni Battista

Subject: Rome, Italy

Period: 1770 (circa)

Publication: Vedute di Roma

Color: Black & White

27.3 x 17.1 inches
69.3 x 43.4 cm
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Giovanni Battista Piranesi was an Italian artist and engraver who is famous for creating a series of views of Rome, and was one of the most influential artists in the development of the neoclassical style of the late 18th century. Following Piranesi’s death in 1778, his heirs continued to publish his works, first from Rome and then from Paris, reissuing his etchings until 1839. This magnificent view of the Colosseum is depicted from the street-level outside the famous ruins. A legend within the title cartouche identifies twelve significant architectural features. Piranesi's imprint is at bottom right. This is the first state, with the address (Presso l'autore a Strada Felice vicino alla Trinita de Monti) and the price A paoli due e mezzo included below the title. This is a contemporary Roman edition that was printed during Piranesi's lifetime, which is much more rare than those published posthumously.

References: Hind (Giovanni Battista Piranesi) #57-I.

Condition: B

A dark impression printed on thick, laid Italian paper with a watermark of a fleur-de-lys within two circles. There is soiling and professional repairs both to a centerfold separation that enters 4.5" into image at top as well as to some tiny worm tracks in the image, most of which are 1/4" in length or less, which are only visible when the sheet is held to light.

Estimate: $2,750 - $3,500

Sold for: $2,100

Closed on 9/4/2013