Piranesi as Architect and Designer

John Wilton-Ely

Piranesis name is usually connected with intriguing and mysterious etchings, but Giambattisa Piranesi (1720-1778) was also influential as an architect and decorative arts designer. This book examines his work, theories, and impact on the design of architecture and the decorative arts, and it is written by a widely recognized authority on Piranesi. This book, although short, is an in-depth study of Piranesi and his work in these fields, with discussions of his background and the influences on him, as well as how his designs evolved and became influential throughout Britain and Europe. As only one of Piranesis architectural designs was ever actually executed, his significance as an architect ultimately rests on his extensive graphic production and his polemical publications, both of which are shown in this book to have been tremendously influential. This volume is copublished with The Pierpont Morgan Library New York, using many of its outstanding collection of Piranesi drawings and etchings.