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 octagonal Temple of Minerva Medica
12018-11-14T16:23:07-08:00Erin Jonesff57f567e7b1b1483367dc101143970f40cd9e262284925Veduta del Tempio ottangolare di Minerva Medicaplain2021-10-19T05:05:35-07:00Title: Veduta del Tempio ottangolare di Minerva Medica Key: A Egli era interiormente ornato di marmi, B e di musaici bianchi, ed esteriormente coperto di stucco. C Rovine d’altro edifizio congiunto posteriormente col Tempio. Signature: Piranesi F(ecit).Title: View of the octagonal Temple of Minerva Medica Key: A The Temple was adorned in the interior with marble, B and of white mosaics, and on the exterior covered in stucco. C Ruins of another building joined to the Temple at a later date. Signature: Made by Piranesi.Jeanne Brittone120651dde677d5cf1fd515358b14d86eb289f11Now considered a nymphaeum rather than a temple, this fourth-century concrete structure boasts a dome of architectural ingenuity similar to that of the Pantheon. The Opere’s sequence itself invites this comparison, as this view of 1764 falls after two views of the Pantheon’s well-preserved interior (the first by Giovanni, the second by Francesco). But an earlier view from Antichità Romane (1756) of the same structure also calls attention to different points of emphasis across his works. Although they are from the same vantage point, the earlier view displays very little of the exposed interior, and the etching technique is geometric, rectilinear, and slight. In the larger view, the depth and movement of Piranesi’s dramatic shading blur the boundaries between built and natural, between inanimate and living, as if to suggest the notion of living stone (Zorach 118). Both images include annotations, each indicating later additions adjacent to the temple, but their appearance and content differ: in this image, smaller and repeated letters indicate more specific information about building materials and decorative mosaics, now gone, including marble and stucco. In both views, staffage figures give a sense of the temple’s size, but in the later view, the distinction between tourists and Romans suggests something absent from the earlier view. The tourists, in their tricorns and breeches, appear unconcerned with the temple while they stand and converse; Romans lean against the key, exit the later addition, and sit on the ground within the temple. Piranesi seems to convey native Romans’ immediate, physical interaction with its ancient monuments while the foreign visitors engage socially and verbally, perhaps discussing the remnants of antiquity without, in this image, looking at them: one glances away from the structure, almost at the viewer, and the other looks down as he seems to tip his hat. With the earlier view intended more for antiquarians and the later view aimed at tourists, this key’s additional details about building material, signaled by repeated if indistinct letters in the image, offer to those willing to look closely a level of material familiarity with what is available to neither native nor tourist—the lost details of the past, conveyed verbally at a distance. (JB)
To see this image in the Vedute di Roma, volume 17 of Piranesi’s Opere, click here.
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1media/Picture2.jpgmedia/17 Frontispiece cropped.jpg2018-10-19T10:30:22-07:00Jeanne Brittone120651dde677d5cf1fd515358b14d86eb289f11Views of Rome (2 of 2)Jeanne Britton40Vedute di Romaimage_header2022-03-05T13:06:46-08:00Jeanne Brittone120651dde677d5cf1fd515358b14d86eb289f11