This page was created by Erin Jones. The last update was by Jeanne Britton.
The Digital PiranesiMain MenuAboutThe Digital Piranesi is a developing digital humanities project that aims to provide an enhanced digital edition of the works of Italian illustrator Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778).Works and VolumesGenres and SubjectsBibliographyGlossary and Abbreviations
View of the Palace of the Academy on the Via del Corso, established by Louis XIV, King of France for French students of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture
12018-12-07T15:20:47-08:00Erin Jonesff57f567e7b1b1483367dc101143970f40cd9e262284917Veduta, nella Via del Corso, del Palazzo dell’Accademia istituita da Luigi XIV. Re di Francia per i Nazionali Francesi studiosi della Pittura, Scultura, e Architetturaplain2021-11-22T06:41:56-08:00Title: VEDUTA, nella Via del Corso, DEL PALAZZO DELL’ACCADEMIA istituita da LUIGI XIV. RE DI FRANCIA per i Nazionali Francesi studiosi della Pittura, Scultura, e Architettura colla liberal permissione al Pubblico di esercitarvisi in tali arti per il comodo della esposizione quotidiana del Nudo, e dei Modelli delle più rare Statue ed altri segni della Romana Magnificenza, sì antichi, che moderni. Key: 1. Stanze ove sono esposti i modelli della Colonna Trajana, Statue Equestri e Pedestri, Busti, e Bassirilievi. 2. Stanze per l’esposizione del Nudo. 3. Appartamento Regio ornato parimente di Modelli. 4. Appartamento del Signor Direttore. 5. Palazzo Panfilj. 6. Via del Corso. 7. Porta del Popolo. Signature: Gio(vanni). Batt(ist)a Piranesi Architetto dis(egnò). e inc(ise). Signature 2: Presso l’Autore a Strada Felice nel Palazzo Tomati vicino alla Trinità de’montiTitle: View of the Palace of the Academy on the Via del Corso, established by Louis XIV, King of France for French students of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture generously open to the Public to practice in such arts for the opportunity to engage in the daily exhibition of the Nude, and of Models of the rarest Statues and other examples of Roman Magnificence, both ancient and modern. Key: 1. Rooms where models of the Column of Trajan, Equestrian and Free-Standing Statues, Busts, and Bas-reliefs are exhibited. 2. Rooms for the exhibition of the Nude. 3. Royal Apartment also adorned with Models. 4. Apartment of the Director. 5. Palazzo Pamphili 6. Via del Corso 7. Porta del Popolo. Signature: Designed and engraved by the Architect Giovanni Battista Piranesi. Signature 2: Published by the Author on the Strada Felice in Palazzo Tomati near Trinità de Monti.Jeanne Brittone120651dde677d5cf1fd515358b14d86eb289f11In its visual and especially its verbal details, this image sheds light on Piranesi’s artistic development, collaborations, and career. As the lengthy caption of this view indicates, the French Academy was located on the Via del Corso in Rome and founded by Louis XIV for “students of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture.” From the moment Piranesi arrived in Rome, he made strong connections to the students, or pensionnaires, of the Academy. The institution’s illustrious circle of artists, architects, printers, and patrons helped Piranesi to flourish in his early years as an emerging author and vedutista. In fact, Piranesi set up his first workshop across from the Academy until he transferred to the Palazzo Tomati in 1760, where he established his own printshop and museum. His signature from this early period can still be seen in the capriccio below: “Piranesi inv[entò], incise, e vende dirimpetto all’Accademia di Francia in Roma” [Designed, engraved, and sold by Piranesi in front of the French Academy in Rome]. Piranesi’s connections with members of the French Academy are extensive. He contributed 48 small views to the popular illustrated guidebook Varie vedute di Roma Antica e Moderna Disegnate e Intagliate da Celebri Autori (1745), which involved many well-known artists of the French Academy including Jérôme-Charles Bellicard (1726-1786) and Jean-Laurent Legeay (1708-1786). He also called upon Jean Barbault (1718-1762) for his expertise in figural engraving in the third volume of the Antichità Romane, and Charles Michel Ange Challe (1718-1778) is said to have provided the French text of the Diverse Maniere d’Adornare I Cammini and Ville de Pesto. Painter Hubert Robert (1733-1808), who often accompanied Piranesi on excursions and excavations, adopted Piranesi’s combination of architectural fantasy and archaeology in his large and sweeping views of ruins. These connections provide insight into the collaborative nature of Piranesi’s work, his reception in France among collectors and French artists, and the ways Academic culture shaped Piranesi’s career and artistic practice.
Perhaps as an homage to the French Academy, Piranesi describes the institution in elaborate detail. He describes how “models of the rarest Statues and other examples of Roman Magnificence, both ancient and modern” were exhibited for artists to copy and draw. For example, the right side of the Palazzo (labeled “1”) displayed models of the “Column of Trajan, Equestrian and Free-Standing Statues, Busts, and Bas-reliefs.” The Academy encouraged direct contact with ancient art. In this idealized view of the Academy, Giovanni Panini (1691-1765), who taught perspective at the Academy, shows the students sketching ancient sculptures as they are surrounded by paintings of the Pantheon, Colosseum, and the Tomb of Cecilia Metella, the “examples of Roman Magnificence” Piranesi describes in the text (Galitz 2003). Many of these views bear a striking resemblance to Piranesi’s Vedute di Roma.
Further emphasizing the hands-on approach of the Academy’s curriculum is the colossal ancient statue being wheeled into the institution in the middle of the busy street. Residents of the Academy shout from the balcony, directing the men below to maneuver around the traffic of carriages, stalls, and tourists. As Piranesi outlines in his annotations, students not only copied sculptures, but also drew from life. Pensionnaires received lessons in anatomy and life drawing (annotation “1”). Piranesi further points out the apartments (“3” and “4”) where royal visitors, the director, and artists lived, showing how the palazzo served as a residence in addition to an academy of art and exhibition space. In this way, the artists formed crucial connections not only to other artists, but patrons and collectors. In fact, the director of the Academy, Charles-Joseph Natoire, promoted Piranesi’s Antichità Romane in France as soon as it had been published, including to the designer of Versailles gardens among other prominent architects (Hyde Minor 2015). The deep recession of the street all the way toward the Piazza del Popolo, indicated as “7,” allows viewers to take in all the details of the palace and street where Piranesi first set up shop in Rome. Such details offer a rare view into the ways artists including Piranesi trained and formed networks in eighteenth-century Rome. (ZL)
To see this image in the Vedute di Roma, vol 16 of Piranesi’s Opere, click here.
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1media/16 frontispiece.jpg2018-11-23T19:33:38-08:00Jeanne Brittone120651dde677d5cf1fd515358b14d86eb289f11Views of Rome (1 of 2)Zoe Langer78Vedute di Romaimage_header2021-10-09T10:14:40-07:00Zoe Langeref2dd00d773765a8b071cbe9e59fc8bf7c7da399
12021-11-07T07:51:40-08:00Jeanne Brittone120651dde677d5cf1fd515358b14d86eb289f11GuidebookJeanne Britton4In the genre of the early modern guidebook of Rome, the “city is defined in terms of orderly itineraries, clear boundaries, and physical traversability” where “unobstructed urban movement is taken to be the measure of modernity, but only for pilgrims, tourists, or the fashionable carriage of the upper ranks” (San Juan, 4, 9). Piranesi’s large-scale vedute draw on, but more often exceed, the traditional features of this genre.plain2021-11-07T08:40:32-08:00Jeanne Brittone120651dde677d5cf1fd515358b14d86eb289f11