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View of the Pantheon
12019-11-11T16:57:41-08:00Avery Freemanb9edcb567e2471c9ec37caa50383522b90999cba228491from Volume 17 of Giovanni Battista Piranesi's Opereplain2019-11-11T16:57:41-08:00Internet ArchivedatapiranesiRescan_vol17_0013.jpgAvery Freemanb9edcb567e2471c9ec37caa50383522b90999cba
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12019-11-17T18:35:53-08:00Avery Freemanb9edcb567e2471c9ec37caa50383522b90999cbaMJeanne Britton11M N Circonferenza della finestra, per cui scende il lume nel tempio.plain2021-11-12T05:50:08-08:00Jeanne Brittone120651dde677d5cf1fd515358b14d86eb289f11
12019-12-05T14:04:00-08:00Aniruth Sivakumara921b78c454763598f1523de5631457adad031a1*Jeanne Britton8Pietre del timpano con bozze, e forami delle spranghe, che reggevano i bassirilievi di bronzoplain2021-11-12T16:31:49-08:00Jeanne Brittone120651dde677d5cf1fd515358b14d86eb289f11
12018-03-23T15:04:30-07:00View of the Pantheon57Veduta del Pantheon d'Aggripa oggi Chiesa di Santa Maria ad Martyresplain2022-07-15T12:41:29-07:00Title: Veduta del Pantheon d’Agrippa oggi Chiesa di Santa Maria ad Martyres. Below title: * Pietre del timpano con bozze, e forami delle spranghe, che reggevano i bassirilievi di bronzo. Key: Portico AB, Acroterio CD, e Frontespizio E contemporanei, per ciò che dimostra la interna lor costruttura, ed aggiunti posteriormente da Agrippa alla parte rotonda del Pantheon, come si ravvisa alle lettere DF, BG, H, dalla medesima costruttura sciolta da quella del tempio. I Parte dell’acroterio interotta col frontespizio K sotto il Pontificato d’Urbano VIII per ridurre le parti CE, L, in forma di torri ad uso de’ Campanili. M N Circonferenza della finestra, per cui scende il lume nel tempio. O Colonne solide di marmo Sienite di palmi 6.6. di diametro, e di 63.8. d’altezza. 2, e 3 Canali e forami ne’quali erano incastrate le lettere di metallo della iscrizione d’Agrippa. P Iscrizione degl’Imperadori L. Settimio Severo, e Caracalla restauratori del Pantheon. Q Una delle pietre con forami a’ quali anticamente raccomandavansi le corde della tenda che si spiegava per le solennità. R S Angolo del portico rifabbricato sotto il Pontificato d’Alessandro VII. T Gradi moderni. V Avanzi degli ornamenti di stucco de’quali era rivestita la circonferenza del Pantheon. XY Cornici ove si ravvisano alcune porzioni degli stucchi che coprivano e adornavano l’odierna rozzezza delle medesime. Signature: Piranesi F(ecit) Signature 2: Presso il medesimo Autore nel palazzo del Conte Tomati a Strada Felice, vicino alla Trinità de’Monti.Title: View of the Pantheon of Agrippa, today the Church of Santa Maria ad Martyres. Below title: * Stones of the tympanum with boss stones, and openings for the metal bars, that held up the bas-reliefs of bronze. Key: Contemporary Portico AB, Acroterion CD and Façade E, showing their internal structure, as well as the later additions by Agrippa to the rotunda, as may be seen at letters DF, BG, and H, which show the same structure separated from the temple. Part of the acroterion attached to the façade K during the pontificate of Urban VII, to strengthen the parts CE, L, in the form of bell towers. M N Circumference of the window, through which light falls into the temple. O Solid columns of granite marble from Siena of 6.6 palmi in diameter and 63.8 palmi in height. 2, 3 Channels and foramen [openings or holes in stones] in which the metal letters of the inscription of Agrippa were inserted. P Inscription of the Emperor L. Septimius Severus, and Caracalla, restorers of the Pantheon. Q One of the stones with foramen [openings or holes in stones] whose curtains' cords were entrusted to someone to unfurl in solemnity during ancient times. R S Angle of the portico reconstructed during the Pontificate of Alexander VII. T Modern steps. V Remnants of the ornaments of stucco with which the circumference of the Pantheon was coated. X Y Cornices where some portions of plaster, that were used to cover and decorate the [Pantheon's] present-day coarseness, may be seen. Signature: Made by Piranesi. Signature 2: Published by the same Author in the Palace of Count Tomati on the Strada Felice, near the Trinità de’ Monti.Following this volume’s fantastical frontispiece, this view introduces a group of etchings devoted to the Pantheon by making a bold visual and verbal statement. Piranesi’s intertwining of image and text in this veduta is pervasive: as John Wilton-Ely observes, first of the image, “a wide range of directed lighting and the fullest deployment of etching techniques are directed towards scholarly ends,” and, of the caption, “Piranesi the antiquarian summarizes the building history while Piranesi the artist illustrates the visual results” (1988, 39). There is much to strike a viewer’s eyes—textures rendered vividly through chiaroscuro, bustling street life, and exaggerated proportions. At the same time, in the scroll that breaks the margin of the image and provides support to a gesturing man, there is also a great deal to attract and challenge a reader’s comprehension. Jonathan Scott noted that captions in the Vedute di Roma allowed tourists to corroborate the information provided by a cicerone and let antiquarians test the accuracy of their memory (29). With annotations that run from A to Y, including an additional 2 and 3 plus an asterisk under the title, this image is one of the most heavily annotated in the Vedute di Roma. As such, it breaks the illusion of visual art and interweaves historical information with aesthetic immersion. The undulating but apparently weighty sides of the banderole seem to insist on the mingling of text and image.
The syntax of its annotations also interweaves visual and verbal experience, material evidence and Piranesi’s own architectural theory. Many of Piranesi’s Vedute di Roma include captions that take the form of lists, such as this earlier view of the Roman Forum. By contrast, this key thoroughly imbeds visual evidence in verbal statement and makes Piranesi’s argument about Agrippa’s construction of the temple and pronaos arise from a viewer-reader’s frequent oscillation between image and text. The style of these annotations urges readers to look away from the caption for the indicated evidence, to return to the caption, and then look again, and again, at the image. This style of annotation is a significant divergence from the more common format of the list, and it edges towards the narrative captions that, as noted in the case of the interior view of the temple, tend to appear when Piranesi makes his most conjectural statements.
Piranesi held the uncommon view that Marcus Agrippa (63 BCE - 12 BCE) oversaw the construction of the Pantheon in its entirety, but in different stages. His other renditions of the Pantheon in this volume make this argument based on measurements and materials. In the Antichità Romane, he uses a different method to make his point. In annotated vedute that are only a fraction of the size of this print, there is simply no space for the lengthy argument that appears instead in the “Indice” to the “Pianta di Roma.” In vedute of the exterior, pronaos, and interior, letters are keyed to the map’s index. There, Piranesi points to these images and refers to passages by Roman historians Pliny (c. 23 CE - 79 CE) and Cassius Dio (c. 155 - c. 235) as he criticizes modern writers who question whether Agrippa actually oversaw the completion of the temple. After the first annotations, which appear in the view of the exterior, are glossed as inscriptions that indicate the construction and renovation of the temple, other annotations in the views of the pronaos and interior call attention to empty niches where lost features—statues of Augustus and Agrippa, a bronze bas-relief—were formerly secured. Seeing those images, which are peppered with large alphabetic pointers, a viewer who might be compelled to decode their annotations would be lost. Seeing the map, a viewer who is willing to become a reader of its index might, perhaps, make the journey from the pages of the index to these views. But as Heather Hyde Minor has observed, it is a journey that “all but the most intrepid and dogged lovers of antiquity would give up on” (2015, 35). In the view above, though, Piranesi lays out a journey between visual evidence and verbal argument that is embedded on one densely-packed multi-media page. Like many of his animated human figures, Piranesi points viewers in different directions. Along with the man who leans on and perhaps points to the caption (immediately above the phrase “per ciò che dimostra”), gesturing figures atop the dome in the detail above point in tandem with the letters that mark the diameter of the oculus. These figures, with their manual gestures, attest to the pervasive mingling of visual and verbal reference in the immersive and erudite vision of Rome that Piranesi creates. (JB)
To see this image in the Vedute di Roma, volume 17 of Piranesi’s Opere, click here.