Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Prisoners on a Projecting Platform, from Carceri d'invenzione (Imaginary Prisons)

Series/Portfolio:
Carceri d'invenzione
Artist:
Giovanni Battista Piranesi (Italian, Mogliano Veneto 1720–1778 Rome)
Publisher:
Giovanni Bouchard (French, ca. 1716–1795)
Date:
ca. 1749–50
Medium:
Etching, engraving, sulphur tint or open bite, burnishing; first state of four (Robison)
Dimensions:
Sheet: 19 1/2 x 25 3/16 in. (49.5 x 64 cm) Plate: 16 1/8 x 21 1/4 in. (41 x 54 cm)
Classification:
Prints
Credit Line:
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1937
Accession Number:
37.45.3(33)
Not on view
In the rough and bold etchings of the Carceri, Piranesi achieved the immediacy of a drawn sketch in print. The low viewpoint and the small size of the figures emphasize the immensity of these invented spaces, based on stage prisons rather than real ones. The spatial anomalies were meant not to be logical but to express vastness and strength.
Inscription: At lower left: Piranesi f.
James Franck Bright; Vendor: James Rimell & Son
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art [The Met Breuer]. "Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible," March 18–September 4, 2016.

Focillon 13.33; Robison 174.36 i/vi; Hind 27.10 i/iii; Wilton-Ely I.65.35
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