His manipulation of the traditional features of the veduta genre emphasizes the fragments that are not only visual impediments for viewers but also, as the key asserts, pieces of archeological evidence. Based on the form and method of construction of the walls, identified by the second annotation, Piranesi concludes in the text that they provided structural support to the opposite hall from the dining rooms: “Muri, e piloni che reggevano la parte opposta del tablino.” The large format of the Vedute di Roma afforded Piranesi with the space to render each element with unprecedented detail, elaborating upon his smaller view in the first volume of the Antichità Romane. For example, viewers can see the individual bricks and ornamental scheme of the coffers of the supporting wall on the far left. These coffers are virtually identical to those in the three vaults in the main structure, providing Piranesi and his viewers with visual confirmation that the fragments in the foreground also belong to the larger complex of the Golden House of Nero. This controversial claim, which departed from the contemporary designation of the vaults as the Temple of Peace, also motivates Piranesi’s focused analysis of a fragment in his third view of the monument. (ZL)
To see this image in the Vedute di Roma, volume 17 of Piranesi’s Opere, click here.