This page is referenced by:
Views of Rome Designed and Engraved by Giambattista Piranesi Venetian Architect
Vedute di Roma Disegnate ed Incise da Giambattista Piranesi Architetto Veneziano
While the frontispiece to the second volume of the Vedute di Roma sarcofagi, tripodi, lucerne et ornamenti antichi Verschaffel
(Stewart 158)move away from the accurate reconstruction of the past, re-created through his technical mastery, to a global idealization of the documentary detail within a vaster framework” (67).
By contrast to both of these styles, the letters in this title page are three-dimensional and raised above their surface, but they are constituted by widely spaced, irregular, sometimes wavy lines that resemble the patterns of plants, water, or clouds more than those with which he renders stone or metal, particularly in his later monumental title pages. A departure from the notion of living stone that his views vividly invoke, this lettering style hints at the instability of the city’s crumbling structures and the natural forces that threaten them.
The attention Piranesi gives in a few of the images in the Vedute di Roma to the inscriptions on classical monuments does not inform the marks that constitute these letters, which instead resemble those of the natural forces—foliage, water—that appear elsewhere in the image and nod, it seems, to the vines that creep into and hang from many of the ancient structures in this volume’s pages.
To see this image in the Vedute di Roma, volume 16 of Piranesi’s Opere, click here.