Veduta del Prospetto principale della Colonna Antonina. (from Trofeo o Sia Magnifica Colonna Coclide)
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Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778) and Francesco
"Veduta del Prospetto principale della Colonna Antonina"
(Front view of the column of Marcus Aurelius)
From Trofeo o Sia Magnifica Colonna Coclide or
The Trophy or Magnificent Spiral Column of Marble
Dimensions: 112 1/2" x 26 1/2"
Etching, mounted on 20th century wove paper
123” x 35"
Giovanni Battista Piranesi was an Italian etcher, draughtsman and architect best known for his monumental volume Vedute di Roma. A lifelong champion of Rome, Piranesi published more than a thousand etchings depicting the 18th century city and ancient Roman monuments. Piranesi’s images were thought to be so magnificent that travelers visiting Rome on their grand tours were left disappointed by the actual city. This engraving, printed on six sheets, is from the series Trofeo o Sia Magnifica Colonna Coclide, dedicated solely to the
illustration of Trajan’s column and the column of Marcus Aurelius in Rome. This series is thought to be from the last phase of Piranesi’s career, when a number of works in progress were finished with assistance from his son,
Francesco. The column depicts the story of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius’ Danubian wars, waged by him from 166 to his death, and the column itself is thought to date to the year 193.