Item description for Piranesi: The Etchings by Luigi Ficacci...
The great 18th century architectural artist and master engraver "Piranesi was as savage as Salvator Rosa, fierce as Michelangelo, and exuberant as Rubens... he has imagined scenes that would startle geometry and exhaust the Indies to realize." --Horace Walpole
One the greatest architectural artists of all time, and certainly the most famous copper engraver of the 18th century, Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778) is most known for his terrifyingly original series of etchings of labyrinthine and megalomaniac prisons, Carceri d'Invenzione. In his own day, he was most celebrated for his Vedute, 137 etchings of ancient and modern Rome; so renowned were these startling and dramatic chiaroscuro images, imbued with Piranesi's romantic feeling for archaeological ruins, that they formed the mental picture of Rome for generations after. Indeed, Piranesi could be said to have shaped a whole strain of contemporary architecture, as well as the wider visualization of antiquity itself. In our time, he has had a direct influence on writers such as Borges and Kafka and on filmmakers such as Terry Gilliam and Peter Greenaway. Anyone who contemplates Piranesi's etchings will confront the existential nightmare of human existence and its infinite mysteries...
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.9" Width: 7.2" Height: 1.4" Weight: 2.7 lbs.
Release Date Mar 7, 2006
ISBN 3822850942 ISBN13 9783822850947
Reviews - What do customers think about Piranesi: The Etchings?
Beware the difference between the two editions Nov 9, 2007
This is just a warning to those of you purchasing the in-print $11 version of this book, which this site carelessly has listed as the same as the out-of-print paperback version. The in-print version is NOT the complete etchings, and the only reason the reviews here suggest that it is is because this site has, as I have already said, linked the two editions, which are totally different. The in-print version is HIGHLY abridged, and is less than half as long as the older version. I was hoping the images were simply smaller, but this is indeed NOT the case. This edition has less than half the number of images as the older edition.
PIranesi - the Etchings Jun 18, 2006
A startlingly inexpensive volume even at cover price, and a fine overview of the architectural visions of this singular illustrator. The size of the pages don't allow for the fullest, most detailed reproductions of the etchings, but for what is possible the quality is very good.
DON'T BOTHER Jun 1, 2004
This book may have all of Piranesi's work, but the pictures are ridiculously small. I returned it the day it came in the mail.
The Definitive catalogue raisonne of Piranesi Jul 4, 2002
Despite the minimal written information, translated from Italian into both English and German, this very generous book does indeed live up to its title of The Complete Etchings. Giovanni Battista Piranesi lived and worked in the mid 18th century, dreaming of architecturally recreating Ancient Rome. Thwarted from his grandiose dreams by practical matters of living, he found a viable outlet for communicating at least his visions by means of making some of the finest etchings the printing world has known. Concepts he could not translate into edifices became grand, eloquent and very personal prints which even today influence artists and stage designers, so atmospheric and rich are the renderings. Piranesi thought on the grand scale, and these many etchings demonstrate how his sense of space, of dark interiors with penetrating shafts of light, of temples, of prisons and prisoners, and even details of architectural elements of decor could become fine art. Though the amount of information about the man as written here is minimal, I doubt that there was much more to this man's biography, so absorbed he was with markings on copper plates. But the lack of biographical data is more than compensated for in the accompanying information on the pages with each etching. This is a fine addition to the libraries of artists, printmakers, architects, and yes, Dreamers! Well worth the price.
Complete survey Aug 28, 2001
This book contains all the output of Piranesi, which is what accounts for its thickness. The display is almost purely visual, with only the most minimal of text. The illustrations are clear but fairly small for the most part. I use the book all the time in identifying Piranesis, and I suppose that any serious collector will want to own it. But for any further purpose it's not useful. The index, unfortunately, is totally inadequate and hard to use. The source of this problem (and it is a major one) is that the book is aiming for a readership that also includes Italian, French, and German readers, which means that text has to be minimal.