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

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

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Overview

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 by Giovanni Piranesi

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 Étienne-Louis Boullée. 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continues over the relative merits of a rational, minimal architecture versus an architecture rich in ornament and historical references.

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)

About 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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