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    Sale 7574

    Thomas Hope & The Neoclassical Vision & The Collector of Collections

    24 April 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 73

    Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1710-1778)

    Vedute di Roma: Eight Plates

    Price Realised  

    Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1710-1778)
    Vedute di Roma: Eight Plates
    etchings, 1744-66, eight plates from the series, good clear impressions, H. 11 and 38 second state, H. 4, 6, 7, 8, 19 and 37 third state, on laid paper, watermark Fleur-de-Lys in a Double Circle (wmk H. 3), with wide margins, several with a few short skilfully repaired tears towards the sheet edges, otherwise all apparently in very good condition, two examined out of their frames
    Image 406 x 621 mm. (and similar), Sheet 489 x 714 mm. (and similar) (8)


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    Fundamental to the development of the aesthetic of 'picturesque neo-classicism', of which Thomas Hope was a proponent, are the engravings of Piranesi and in particular his heroic series of Roman public buildings (D. Watkin, Thomas Hope and the Neo-Classical Idea, London, 1968, pp. 128-129). Hope regarded Piranesi as of the first importance in his approach to art and design. In a letter to Matthew Boulton of 1805, he stated that he 'endeavoured to make myself master of the spirit [Hope's italics] of the Antique.' and that any student, rather than merely copying Hope's designs 'would do better still by applying at once to the fountain-head, to those sources of beauty which lay open to every body: I mean the most approved books on ancient art: Sir Wm. Hamilton's Vases, Winckelman, Piranesi, Stuart's Athens, Ionian Antiquities &c. &c. &c.' (ibid., p. 198).

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    Literature

    Hind 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 19, 37, 38