Piranesi - Diverse manieri...

Piranesi, Giovanni Battista. (born October 4, 1720 in Mestre / Venice - died November 9, 1778 in Rome). Architect, archeologist, master designer and engraver. "Diverse manieri...", "Vasi..."

The name of Piranesi makes most of us think instantly of his "Vedute di Roma" or his "Carceri" for which the grand master of Italian engravers is so famous. Too easily we forget that he was also a very imaginative designer. In his "Diverse manieri..." (Diverse Ways of ornamenting chimneypieces and all other parts of houses taken from Eygptian, Etruscan, Greek and Roman architecture..." - Rome, 1769) and his "Vasi" he masterfully produced a large number of elegant designs for the decoration of chimney pieces using classic motifs. He also designed clocks and vases, coaches and sedan chairs, commodes and tables, doors and candelabras. Most certainly he enjoyed creating such formidable "bits and pieces", selling the prints to patrons and tourists in his showroom in the Palzzo Tomati. Piranesi was by no means the only designer in Rome and in his time, but he was probably the best and certainly the best known in educated circles. While few pieces of furniture or objuects built according to his design are known the beautiful copper etchings are here for us to enjoy and to decorate our homes in an exceptional manner thus honoring Piranesi's classical spirit and fascination with antiquity.

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