The Digital Piranesi
This page was created by Alexis Kratzer. The last update was by Jeanne Britton.
Meeting Hall in Hadrian’s Villa
In Piranesi’s other views of Tivoli, captions offer historical information or evidence for archaeological conjecture, but this central room is noted for its current owner. In the 1720s, Conte Guiseppe Fede began buying parcels of land on the site of Hadrian’s Villa, which had by that time been divided between numerous landowners, and he oversaw excavations whose finds either became part of his own collection, begun by his father, or passed into other collections. Items discovered in his excavations feature in other works by Piranesi. He depicts mosaic patterns found in the villa that, he says, can now be seen at Fede’s home; Francesco reproduces a statue that Fede excavated, which became part of the Vatican Museums. This image’s caption, by naming a figure in the early history of the antiquities market, is an apt footnote to the long history of nature’s dominance over architectural forms that the image suggests. (JB)
To see this image in the Vedute di Roma, volume 17 of Piranesi’s Opere, click here.