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Della Magnificenza Ed · Architettura De' Romani Opera Di · Gio · Battista · Piranesi Socio · Della Reale Accademia Degli · Antiquari Di · Londra.

Giovanni Battista Piranesi

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Variant Title

Ioannis · Baptistae Piranesii Antiquariorum Regiae · Societatis · Londinensis Socii De Romanorum Magnificentia Et · Architectura
De Romanorum Magnificentia



Physical Description

[2], ccxii p., [2] t.-pl., etch. port., 38 pl. (4 fold., 6 dble.): [5] illus.; 537 mm. (Broadsheet, signed as folio).

General Note

Plate XXIX consists of three separate prints.


[Latin t.-pl., Italian t.-pl., port., Latin dedic., imprimaturs and approbation (1760)] - [Text in Latin and Italian] - Index Rerum Notabilium - Indice Delle Cose Notabili - [Plates].

Responsibility Note

Both title-plates are signed as engraved or made by Piranesi. The portrait of Pope Clement XIII is signed as designed by Ioannes Baptista Piranesius and engraved by Dominicus Cunego and Piranesius. Most plates are signed as made by Piranesi; but seven are unsigned (4, 5, 7, 21, 29, 32, 36).

Of the five in-text illustrations (three decorated initials, two tailpieces) only the tailpiece of the Latin text is signed, as made by Piranesi.

The work is dedicated by Joannes Baptista Piranesius to Clementi XIII. Pont. Opt. Max. (who subsidised the cost of production).


National Gallery (Washington), Mark J. Millard, 4 (2000), 99; RIBA, Early printed books, 3 (1999), no. 2552; Giovanni Battista Piranesi: the complete etchings, ed. J. Wilton-Ely (1994), 753-797; J. Wilton-Ely, Piranesi [exhibition catalogue] (1978), 142-145; A.M. Hind, Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1922 repr. 1978), 84-95; H. Focillon, Giovanni-Battista Piranesi (1918 repr. 1964), 927-966.

S.M. Dixon, 'The sources and fortunes of Piranesi's archaeological illustrations', in Tracing architecture: the aesthetics of antiquarianism, ed. D. Arnold and S. Bending (2003) (= Art history, 25:4 (2002)).

General studies of 18th-century Roman vedute include Exploring Rome: Piranesi and his contemporaries [exhibition catalogue] (1993); Piranesi e la veduta del Settecento a Roma [exhibition catalogue] (1989).

Summary Note

The Italian title-plate is preceded by a facing Latin title-plate, which reads, 'Ioannis · Baptistae Piranesii Antiquariorum Regiae · Societatis · Londinensis Socii De Romanorum Magnificentia Et · Architectura Romae MDCCLXI'.

The text is printed in Latin and Italian, in parallel.

Most plates show details of ancient Roman architecture, intended to support Piranesi's thesis that it was not a derivative of that of the ancient Greeks. Some plates copy illustrations from J.D. Leroy's Les Ruines des plus beaux monuments de la Grèce (1758).


Recorded in RAA Library, Catalogue, 1802.

Copy Note

Imperfect; wanting pl. XXXVIII. With pl.VIII separately housed.

Binding Note

18th-century mottled calf, upper cover gilt-stamped with arms of Britain and 'R.A.'; rebacked in 20th century, red and green spine-labels lettered 'Magnificenza Di Roma' and 'Piranesi', spine lettered 'R.A.' Bound with Piranesi's 'Osservazioni'.

Name as Subject

Julien-David Le Roy, Ruines des plus beaux monuments de la Grèce


Architecture, Roman - Italy - Rome - History
Art history - Italy - 18th century
Pictorial works - Italy - 18th century
Armorial bindings - Great Britain - 18th century


Giovanni Battista Piranesi, draughtsman, engraver
Domenico Cunego, engraver
Clement XIII Pope, dedicatee