Plan of the Mausoleum of Caecilia Metella, wife of the Triumvir Marcus Crassus..., from Le Antichità Romane (Roman Antiquities), tome 3, tavola 49

Series/Portfolio: Le Antichità Romane, tome 3

Artist: Giovanni Battista Piranesi (Italian, Mogliano Veneto 1720–1778 Rome)

Publisher: Angelo Rotili

Date: published 1756–57

Medium: Etching

Dimensions: Sheet: 21 1/4 x 30 5/16 in. (54 x 77 cm)
Plate: 17 5/16 x 20 1/2 in. (44 x 52 cm)

Classifications: Prints, Ornament & Architecture

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, Transferred from the Library, 1941

Accession Number:


While Piranesi's 'Vedute' record the present appearance of the relics of antiquity, he also dug deeper, investigating the engineering feats of the ancient Romans and attempting to reconstruct the former appearance of the ancient city. His 'Antichità Romane' of 1756, a four-volume work that won him admittance to the British Society of Antiquarians, includes maps of the ancient walls and aqueduct system and a thorough investigation of Roman burial customs. The third volume illustrates the sepulchral monuments of the Via Appia Antica, including six plates devoted to the tomb of Cecilia Metella. In plate 49, Piranesi combines a number of views—an elevation, a plan, a cross-section, details of the masonry construction—to create a handsomely designed and informative page.