Antichita Romana Title page Vol I

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Antichita Romana Title page Vol I
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PIRANESI, Giovanni Battista.
Antiquita Romana
Title Page to Volume 1
Paris. 1800-07   
Original etching
135 x 200mm
Inscribed on the tablet;
Urbis Aeternae vestigial e Ruderibus temporumque inivriis vindicate aenieis tabulis incise I.B. Piranesius Venet Romae degens aevo suo posteris et utilitati publicae C.V.D.
(Vestiges of the Eternal City, freed of the rubble and the injuries of time, and incised on bronze tablets by G.B. Piranesi, Venetian resident at Rome, and stamped for his own age, posterity and the public good).
The Antichita illustrate the tombs along the Appian Way and similar areas outside the city. While the tombs, their occupants and their builders are mostly unknown, these plates are among Piranesi's most romantic views, his crumbling masonry given weight and grandeur by the low viewpoints, the strong light affects and the tiny figures of tourists, peasants and goats. Piranesi's studies of the antiquities of Rome was one of the great archaeological works of its era; appealing both to the architects and designers of the day as well as to the students of the past. While its influence spread across Europe, it was most eagerly studied in England, where it led in 1757 to Piranesi's election as an Honorary Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries