Object Image

Chimneypiece in the Egyptian style, from Diverse Maniere d'adornare i cammini (...) (Different Ways of ornamenting chimneypieces and all other parts of houses)

The lengthy essay that opens the 'Diverse maniere' is dedicated to Cardinal Rezzonico, nephew of Pope Clement XIII and one of Piranesi's ardent supporters, but is clearly intended for a wide audience, given the parallel texts in Italian, English, and French. Whereas the 'Antichità Romane' was a scholarly work, directed to antiquarians and architects, this publication is addressed primarily to designers, encouraging them to follow Piranesi's lead in giving their imagination free reign. Piranesi states forthrightly that an artist should not merely copy but instead "ought to show himself of an inventive, and I had almost said, of a Creating Genius..." Here Piranesi draws on three decades of study ...
c. 1769
40.0 x 54.7cm
Image and text © Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Permanent collection