Antique Amtic Temple Engraving by Giovanni Battista Piranesi
Antique Amtic Temple Engraving by Giovanni Battista Piranesi

Antique Amtic Temple Engraving

Antique Amtic Temple Engraving c1743 by Italian Artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720 – 1778); painter, classical archaeologist and architect know for his etchings of Rome and fictitious atmospheric prisons.

I beautiful architectural engraving showing anenormous Antique Temple with visitors that look abolutely tiny in comparison to the spiral staircase, columns and arches and giant insence urns; the illustration also has a verse written below it that states:

Tempio amtico inventato e disegnata alla maniera di quelli che si fabbricavano in onore della Dea Vesta: quindi vedesi in mezzo la grand Ara, sopra della quale conservavasi dalle Vergini Vestali L’inestinguibile fuoco sacro.

Tutta l’opera e Corintia ornata di statue e di bassi rilievi, e di altri ornamenti ancora.

Il piano di questo Tempio e no tabilmente elevato dal suolo: vedesi in mezzo lo Cella rotonda, come lo e pure tutto il gran Vaso del Tmpio stesso: quattro loggie portavano ad essa, e per altrettante scale visi ascendeva.

Le parieti del gran Tempio stesso hanno due ordini, sopra il secondo d’incurva una vasta Cupola con isfondati, e rosoni, e termina in una grande apertura, dalla qte dipende il lume alla Cella che le sta sotto.

Gio Batta Piranefi Arch. inv; ed incife in Roma l’Anno 1743

Translated Using Google Translate

Amtic temple invented and designed in the manner of those who were built in honor of the Goddess Vesta: therefore in the middle of the great Ara, above which the inextinguishable sacred fire was preserved by the Vestal Virgins.

The whole work is Corintia decorated with statues and low reliefs, and still other ornaments.

The floor of this Temple is not easily elevated from the ground: you can see the round Cell in the middle, as well as the whole great Vase of the Temple itself: four loggias led to it, and by as many stairs faces ascended.

The walls of the great temple itself have two orders, above the second a vast dome with arches, and rose windows, and ends in a large opening, from which depends the light to the cell that is below.

Gio Batta Piranefi Arch. Inv; and incife in Rome the year 1743

This is a retouched digital art old masters reproduction of a public domain image.

Info Below Derived From

Piranesi was the son of a stonemason and was born in Venice, in the parish of S. Moisè where he was baptized. His brother Andrea introduced him to Latin literature and ancient Greco-Roman civilization.

Later he was apprenticed under his uncle, Matteo Lucchesi, who was a leading architect in Magistrato delle Acque, the state organization responsible for engineering and restoring historical buildings.

From 1740, Giovanni had an opportunity to work in Rome as a draughtsman for Marco Foscarini, the Venetian ambassador of the new Pope Benedict XIV.

He resided in the Palazzo Venezia and studied under Giuseppe Vasi, who introduced him to the art of etching and engraving of the city and its monuments.

Giuseppe Vasi found that Giovanni’s talent was much greater than that of a mere engraver; according to Legrand, Vasi told Piranesi that “you are too much of a painter, my friend, to be an engraver.”

After his studies with Vasi concluded, he collaborated with pupils of the French Academy in Rome to produce a series of vedute (views) of the city.

In 1743 Giovanni created his first work the Prima parte di Architettura e Prospettive, and followed that up in 1745 with Varie Vedute di Roma Antica e Moderna.

From 1743 to 1747 Giovanni was mainly in Venice where, according to some sources, he often visited Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, a leading artist in Venice.

It was Tiepolo who expanded the restrictive conventions of reproductive, topographical and antiquarian engravings.

Giovanni then returned to Rome, where he opened a workshop in Via del Corso; and in 1748 – 1774 he created an important series of vedute of the city which established his fame.

In the meantime Piranesi devoted himself to the measurement of many of the ancient buildings, which led to the publication of Le Antichità Romane de’ tempo della prima Repubblica e dei primi imperatori (“Roman Antiquities of the Time of the First Republic and the First Emperors”).

In 1761 he became a member of the Accademia di San Luca and opened a printing house of his own. In 1762 the Campo Marzio dell’antica Roma collection of engravings was printed.

The following year he was commissioned by Pope Clement XIII to restore the choir of San Giovanni in Laterano, but the work did not materialize.

In 1764, one of the Pope’s nephews, Cardinal Rezzonico, appointed him to start his only architectural work, the restoration of the church of Santa Maria del Priorato in the Villa of the Knights of Malta, on Rome’s Aventine Hill.

He combined Classical Architectural Elements, trophies and escutcheons with his own particular imaginative genius for the design of the facade of the church and the walls of the adjacent Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta.

In 1767 he was made a knight of the Golden Spur, which enabled him to sign himself “Cav[aliere] Piranesi”. In 1769 his publication of a series of ingenious and sometimes bizarre designs for chimneypieces, as well as an original range of furniture pieces, established his place as a versatile and resourceful designer.

In 1776 he created his best known work as a ‘restorer’ of ancient sculpture, the Piranesi Vase, and in 1777 – 78 he published Avanzi degli Edifici di Pesto (Remains of the Edifices of Paestum).