This page was created by Erin Jones.  The last update was by Zoe Langer.

The Digital Piranesi

Another view of the Temple of Concord

This ‘alternate view’ or ‘altra veduta’ of the Temple of Concord is darker in tone than Piranesi’s other engravings of the ancient monument. While the Temple is the subject of the following view, here,  Piranesi sheds a harsh light on its contemporary environment. Surrounded by a group of drunkards, gamblers, and rogues seen in the foreground, as well as an outcropping of temporary structures, including most prominently, a stable and carriage house – the Temple has been consumed by the banal and tawdry affairs of Roman contemporary life. Art Historian Jeanne Morgan Zarucchi argues that the 'other views' all "evoke scenes of poverty and pathos...a darker vision of the life that goes on amid the crumbling ruins" (Zarucchi 367). The prominent role of 'staffage' figures in the scene highlight another side of the Grand Tour, one associated with decay, corruption, and vice (Zarucchi 368 & Black 138). The apparent similarity between the figure groupings among the two views only serves to underscore their differences. For example, the horse on the left, whose bulbous behind faces viewers, is "laden with two large barrels" to the point that it "can barely raise its hoof" from transporting excessive amounts of alcohol (Zarruchi 376). The doors of the carriage house creak open not only to reveal sinister figures in the shadows, but more importantly, a debased transformation of a formerly prestigious and historically significant monument.

To see this image in Veduta di Roma, vol 17 of Piranesi's Opere, click here.

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