Observations on the Letter of Monsieur Mariette: With Thoughts on Architecture, and a Preface to a New Treatise on the Introduction, and Progress of the Fine Arts in Europe in Ancient Times

Overview


Published in 1765, Giovanni Battista Piranesi's Osservazioni is an impassioned defense of the superiority of Roman architectural "invention" over the "beautiful and noble simplicity" of ancient Greece. In this three-part polemical masterpiece, the famed engraver and designer not only contends that the Etruscans-not the Greeks-were the artistic mentors of the Romans but also argues for a Roman-inspired exuberance in design that draws freely on all forms and traditions of ancient art. Although Piranesi's ...
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Overview


Published in 1765, Giovanni Battista Piranesi's Osservazioni is an impassioned defense of the superiority of Roman architectural "invention" over the "beautiful and noble simplicity" of ancient Greece. In this three-part polemical masterpiece, the famed engraver and designer not only contends that the Etruscans-not the Greeks-were the artistic mentors of the Romans but also argues for a Roman-inspired exuberance in design that draws freely on all forms and traditions of ancient art. Although Piranesi's essentially Baroque vision set him at odds with the austere Neoclassicism of his contemporaries, his ideas were inspirational to such gifted eighteenth-century architects as Robert Adam, John Soane, Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, and √Čtienne-Louis Boull√©e. Today, Piranesi's lively plea for imaginative eclecticism remains topical, as the debate continues over the relative merits of a rational, minimal architecture versus an architecture rich in ornament and historical references.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780892366361
  • Publisher: Getty Publications
  • Publication date: 11/28/2002
  • Series: Texts & Documents Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

John Wilton-Ely is professor emeritus in the history of art at the University of Hull, England. Caroline Beamish has numerous published translations include Michel Melot's The Impressionist Print. David Britt has translated an array of books, including Aby Warburg's The Renewal of Pagan Antiquity.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
Observations on the Letter of Monsieur Mariette; with Opinions on Architecture, and a Preface to a New Treatise on the Introduction and Progress of the Fine Arts in Europe in Ancient Times
Observations by Giovanni Battista Piranesi on the Letter of Monsieur Mariette to the Authors of the Gazette litteraire de l'Europe 87
Opinions on Architecture: A Dialogue 102
On the Introduction and Progress of the Fine Arts in Europe in Ancient Times 115
Engravings for the Observations 125
Editorial Notes 142
Selected Bibliography 154
Illustration Credits 171
Index 172
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