GIOVANNI BATTISTA PIRANESI (1720-1778)
GIOVANNI BATTISTA PIRANESI (1720-1778)
GIOVANNI BATTISTA PIRANESI (1720-1778)
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GIOVANNI BATTISTA PIRANESI (1720-1778)
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GIOVANNI BATTISTA PIRANESI (1720-1778)

Carceri

Details
GIOVANNI BATTISTA PIRANESI (1720-1778)
Carceri
the complete set of 14 etchings, circa 1749-50, on laid paper, watermark Fleur-de-Lys in Single Circle (Robison 5), a very fine, early set of the First Edition, Second Issue, printed with a light, selectively wiped plate tone, all but two plates in the first state, the Title Plate (R. 29) and The Giant Wheel (R. 35) second state (as usual for this issue), published by Giovanni Bouchard, Rome, 1750-58; with Raccolta di varie vedute di Roma, including the title page and 94 etchings, including 48 by Piranesi, the others by Anesi, LeGeay, Duflos and Bellicard, Second Edition, published by Bouchard, Rome, 1752; Trofei di Ottaviano Augusto, with the title page and nine plates, First Edition, published by Bouchard, Rome, 1753; and two plates from Vedute di Roma (Veduta del Tempio di Cibele & Veduta del Tempio di Giove tonante), 1758 and 1756, both first state (of five and six, respectively), before Bouchard's address and price; all with margins, in very good condition, the double-page plates bound with wide paper guards in an 18th century Italian vellum binding, with contemporary end-papers, the binding lacking the spine and with some wear (book)
Plates 545 x 410 mm. (and similar) (Carceri)
Sheets 521 x 682 mm. (and similar)
Overall 533 x 385 mm. (book)
Provenance
Sir Jeffry Wyatville RA (1766-1840), Burton-on-Trent, London (with his bookplate).
With Bernard Quaritch Ltd, London.
Acquired from the above; then by descent to the present owner.
Literature
Carceri: Focillon 24, 27, 29-37; Hind 1, 3-4, 6-16; Robison 29-42
Raccolta: Focillon 72-119; Hind p. 7
Trofei: Focillon 133-143; Hind p. 82
Vedute: H. 44 & 47
Sale room notice
Please note that the book contains the eight plates and the title page from the ‘Trofei di Ottaviano’, not nine plates and the title page, as stated in the catalogue.

Brought to you by

Tim Schmelcher
Tim Schmelcher International Specialist

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Lot Essay

In his census of early sets of the Carceri of 1986, Andrew Robison records ten sets of the First Edition, First Issue and 19 of the Second Issue. The present set was not included in his count. It is earlier than the set from the Collection of Arthur and Charlotte Vershbow, from the Third Issue, which was sold in these rooms on 9 April 2013 for US$ 459,000 - the current record price for the Carceri.

The present fine copy comes from the collection of the celebrated architect and landscape designer Sir Jeffry Wyatville, who oversaw the extensions and alterations to Windsor Castle and Chatsworth House in the 19th century.

It is only in copies of the First Edition that the spontaneity, energy and virtuoso draughtsmanship with which Piranesi made the Carceri can be fully appreciated. For the later editions, he reworked the plates with increasing density and the impressions seem heavy and turgid in comparison.

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