This page was created by Erin Jones.  The last update was by Jeanne Britton.

The Digital Piranesi

Another view of the Temple of Concord

This “other view”’ or “altra veduta” of the Temple of Concord—specifically, of the remains of its pronaos—is darker in tone than Piranesi’s other engravings of this ancient monument. While the Temple is the primary subject of the following view, here, Piranesi sheds a harsh light on its contemporary environment. The temple is surrounded by a group of drunkards, gamblers, and rogues seen in the foreground, as well as an outcropping of temporary structures, most prominently including a stable and carriage house. It has been consumed by the banal and tawdry affairs of Roman contemporary life. Art Historian Jeanne Morgan Zarucchi argues that the images Piranesi titles “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 this and the following view only serves to underscore their differences. For example, the horse on the left, whose bulbous behind faces viewers, is “laden with two large barrels” and, as a result, “can barely raise its hoof” from transporting excessive amounts of alcohol (Zarruchi 376). The doors of the carriage house creak open to reveal not only sinister figures in the shadows but, more importantly, a debased transformation of a formerly prestigious and historically significant monument. (ZL)

To see this image in the Vedute di Roma, volume 17 of Piranesi’s Opere, click here.

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