The Digital Piranesi
This page was created by Erin Jones. The last update was by Jeanne Britton.
View of the Temple of Concord
Though the captions indicate only ancient monuments, the architectural history of the city is visible in Piranesi’s portrayal of different styles. This . Unlike his contemporaries, Piranesi often placed emphasis on such juxtapositions of ancient and modern, a typical feature of the Roman urban landscape, in ways that both demonstrate the majesty of ancient Roman architecture and anticipate the archeological survey. For example, the classical simplicity of the late Renaissance apse of the church of Santa Maria della Consolazione in the left background opposes the rich ornamentation of the ancient monuments that are the focus of this image. Medieval arches sprout out of the top of the architrave of the temple as if they were bulbs of foliage, while temporary structures, a product of increased urban expansion, amalgamate below it. The prominent inscription on the architrave of the temple, “INCENDIVM CONSVMPTUM RESTITUIT,” further highlights this contrast by referencing its “restoration” after the devastating fire of the Roman Forum early in the century. In Piranesi’s discussion of the temple in his Antichità Romane, he uses the inscription and other features to determine the different architectural strata of the monument. Here, as well as in the previous engraving of the Temple, such stratifications are made visible. (ZL)
To see this image in the Vedute di Roma, volume 17 of Piranesi’s Opere, click here.