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).VolumesBibliographyGlossary and Abbreviations
View of the Roman Forum (2 of 2)
12019-11-11T16:57:44-08:00Avery Freemanb9edcb567e2471c9ec37caa50383522b90999cba228491from Volume 17 of Giovanni Battista Piranesi's Opereplain2019-11-11T16:57:44-08:00Internet ArchivedatapiranesiRescan_vol17_0085.jpgAvery Freemanb9edcb567e2471c9ec37caa50383522b90999cba
12018-11-14T16:04:54-08:00View of the Roman Forum (2 of 2)15Veduta di Campo Vaccinoplain2020-09-19T16:35:41-07:00ITALIAN: Title: Veduta di Campo Vaccino Key: 1. Colonne del Tempio detto di Giove Statore. 2. Chiesa di Santa Maria Liberatrice piantata sul sito dove anticamente era il Tempio di Vesta. 3. Vestigi del palazzo de’ Cesari sul Palatino. 4. Orti Farnesiani. 5. Arco di Tito. 6. Chiesa di Santa Francesca Romana. 7. Colosseo. 8. Avanzi del Tablino della Casa Aurea di Nerone volgarmente detti il Tempio della Pace. 9. Tempio di Romolo e Remo in oggi Chiesa de Santi Cosmo e Damiano. 10. Tempio di Antonino e Faustina. 11. Tazza antica di granito di un sol pezzo situata nel luogo dove una volta era il lago Curzio. Signature: Cavalier Piranesi del(ineavit). e inc(idit). ENGLISH: Title: View of the Roman Forum Key: 1. Columns of the Temple of Jupiter Stator. 2. Church of Santa Maria Liberatrice built on the ancient site of Temple of Vesta. 3. Ruins of the Palace of the Caesars on the Palatine. 4. Gardens of the Farnese family. 5. Arch of Titus. 6. Church of Santa Francesca Romana. 7. Colosseum. 8. Ruins of the Dining Room in Nero’s Golden House, commonly called the Temple of Peace. 9. Temple of Romulus and Remus, today the Church of Saints Cosmas and Damian. 10. Temple of Antoninus and Faustina. 11. Ancient fountain of granite constructed from only one piece, situated in the place where the lake of Curzio once was. Signature: Designed and engraved by the Knight Piranesi. Moving with "cinematic" pacing, Piranesi takes viewers from a panorama shot, seen in the previous view, to a close-up of the very heart of the forum. This perspectival shift demonstrates one of Piranesi's primary visual strategies: creating a sequence of views that engage with specific debates in each print, while also presenting a unified argument across prints (and in many cases, even across volumes). This juxtaposition of views, or "intellectual montage" in the words of director Sergei Eisenstein (Tafuri, The Sphere and the Labyrinth, 56), of the forum enhances the monumentality of the ancient ruins, particularly in contrast to the contemporary built environment.
On the immediate right, the three massive yet ravaged columns of the Temple of Giove Statore tower over the miniscule human figures, who appear as though faded shadows. Rendered in shallow relief, like the modern buildings that frame the print, they are merely specks in a sea of decaying grandeur. Sitting precariously over the corinthian capitals and pieces of fluted pilasters, the broken architrave of the Temple continues to outshine the most pristine modern buildings on the right. Though in the far distance, the coffered vaults of the Golden House of Nero (labeled 8) loom over the surrounding buildings and are framed only by the clouds. The archways of the Colosseum, rendered with greater force of the burin on the plate, appear darker and more detailed, especially when compared to the flat, white, and empty surface of the Church of Santa Francesca Romana (labeled 6). While the magnificence of Roman architecture and urban design is shown here through monumentality, history supports Piranesi's visual argument in the following print of the forum.
To see this image in Vedute di Roma, vol 17 of Piranesi's Opere, click here.