The Digital PiranesiMain MenuAboutThe Digital Piranesi is a developing digital humanities project that aims to provide an enhanced digital edition of the works of Italian illustrator Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778).VolumesBibliography
View of the Dining Room of Nero's Golden House (1 of 2)
12019-11-11T16:57:36-08:00Avery Freemanb9edcb567e2471c9ec37caa50383522b90999cba228491from Volume 17 of Giovanni Battista Piranesi's Opereplain2019-11-11T16:57:36-08:00Internet ArchivedatapiranesiRescan_vol17_0109.jpgAvery Freemanb9edcb567e2471c9ec37caa50383522b90999cba
12019-05-29T13:24:04-07:00View of the Dining Room of Nero's Golden House (1 of 2)14Veduta Degli Avanzi del Tablino Della Casa Aurea di Nerone, Detti Volgarmente il Tempio Della Paceplain2020-09-17T12:31:02-07:00Title: VEDUTA DEGLI AVANZI DEL TABLINO DELLA CASA AUREA DI NERONE, DETTI VOLGARMENTE IL TEMPIO DELLA PACE Key: 1. Di qui fu trasportata da Paolo V. la gran Colonna che si vede innalzata nella Piazza di Santa Maria Maggiore. 2. Muri, e piloni che reggevano la parte opposta del Tablino. 3. Nicchie per le Statue degli uomini illustri. Signature: Piranesi Architetto fec(it). Signature 2: Presso l’Autore a Strada Felice vicino alla Trinità de’ Monti.Title: View of the Dining Room of Nero’s Golden House. Key: 1. From here the great Column, that one sees erected in the Piazza of the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, was transported by Paul V. 2. Walls, and pillars, that held up the opposite part of the Dining Room. 3. Niches for Statues of illustrious men. Signature: Made by the Architect Piranesi. Signature 2: Published by the Author near Trinità de Monti. To see this image in Veduta di Roma, vol 17 of Piranesi's Opere, click here.
Sketchily rendered with shallow hatching, the looming coffered vaults of the Golden House of Nero (now consideredthe Basilica of Maxentius), provides a theatrical backdrop for the first of three views of the site. Yet this perspective departs from the immersive encounter that Piranesi typically seeks to create between monument and beholder (as he does in the second view of the Golden House, seen here). What does appear in the beholder's immediate visual space is not the most impressive part of the monument, but rather its discarded fragments, trampled upon by goats, monks, beggars, and shepherds who are seemingly oblivious to their significance (Zarruchi, 377). Yet it is precisely these fragments that are of the most interest to Piranesi. The rubble creates a kind of “barricade” in which “the onlooker does not feel invited to ‘enter’ the image and visit the city in his mind, as is the case in the traditional vedute” (Verschaffel, 129). Perhaps through this inaccessibility, Piranesi sought to shift the attention of viewers to the significance of the fragments filled with pertinent archeological evidence, described in the key below the image. Based on the form and method of construction of the walls labeled with the number 2, Piranesi concludes 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 Views of Rome afforded Piranesi with the space to render each element with unprecedented detail, elaborating upon the smaller view, seen here, in the Antichita 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 main 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 the third view of the monument, seen here.