View of the Tiber Island
In the view from the Vedute di Roma above, Piranesi’s annotations highlight elements of the island and its surroundings that are given expansive attention elsewhere: the effigy of Aesculapius, the bridge called the Quattro Capi (formerly the Bridge of Fabricius), and the Ponte Ferrato (formerly the Bridge of Cestius). The island is also the subject of a small view in his volume devoted to the Campus Martius, where it is faintly etched and dramatically framed by the remnants of what is today known as the Ponte Rotto or Broken Bridge. The images from the Campus Martius volume present the island at a distance, either visually or historically, and the detailed studies from the Antichità Romane are, in keeping with that work’s focus, devoted to structural elements of antiquity’s engineering marvels. This view of the island’s contemporary reality stands out for boldly confronting viewers and, importantly, readers with the mythic foundations of one of Rome’s ancient boundaries. (JB)
To see this image in the Vedute di Roma, volume 16 of Piranesi’s Opere, click here.