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Opere Varie Di Architettura Prospettive Grotteschi Antichità Sul Gusto Degli Antichi Romani Inventate, ed Incise Da Gio. Batista Piranesi Architetto Veneziano

RA Collection: Book

Record number


Variant Title

Prima parte di architetture, e prospettive
Pianta di ampio magnifico collegio
Parte di ampio magnifico porto
Lettere di giustificazione
Antichità Romane de' tempi della Repubblica, e de' primi imperatori
Antichità Romane fuori di Roma


In Roma,: MDCCL., Con Licenza De' Superiori. Si vendono presso l'Autore nel palazzo del Signor Conte Tomati su la strada Felice all Trinità de' Monti.

Physical Description

[2] p., t.-pl., 6, [2], 7-14, [7], [4], 4 [incl. t.-pl., engr. dedic.], 1, 6-15, t.-pl., 16-28, [1] pl.; illus. (t.p. vignette); 537 mm. (Broadsheet)


[T.p.] - [T.-pl.:] Prima Parte Di Architetture E Prospettive [followed by 14 pl. with 2 unnumbered pl. inserted between pl. 6 and 7] - [Plate:] Pianta di ampio magnifico Collegio - [Plate:] Parte di ampio magnifico Porto - [10 pl. on 5 sheets, five being reworkings from Lettere di giustificazione] - [4 pl. known as 'Grotteschi' (disbound & housed elsewhere)] - Antichità Romane De' Tempi Della Repubblica, E De' Primi Imperatori ... Parte Prima [i.e. t.-pl. , [3], 1, 6-15, t.-pl. (Antichità Romane Fuori Di Roma ... Parte Seconda), 16-28, [1] pl.]

Responsibility Note

Most plates in each section are signed as made or designed and engraved by Piranesi.

The vignette on the collective title-page is signed as made by Piranesi.

Three of the four Grotteschi carry the publisher's imprint, as 'Apo Piranesi dirimpetto l'Accademia di Francia in Roma' or 'e vende dirimpetto all'Accademia di Francia in Roma' or 'e vende in Roma in faccia all'Accademia di Francia'.


National Gallery (Washington), Mark J. Millard, 4 (2000), 83; Royal Institute Of British Architects, Early printed books, 3 (1999), no. 2562; Giovanni Battista Piranesi: the complete etchings, ed. J. Wilson-Ely (1994), 1-50, 79; A. Robison, Piranesi: early architectural fantasies(1986), cat. 1-44, 212-214; J. Wilton-Ely, Piranesi [exhibition catalogue] (1978), 26-31, 299-326; A.M. Hind, Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1922 repr. 1978), p.78-81; H. Focillon, Giovanni-Battista Piranesi (1918 repr. 1964), 17-18.

Summary Note

Before 1750 Piranesi had published his Prima parte di architetture, e prospettive (1743, and subsequent variant issues), Grotteschi, and various other plates, some in the Vedute di Roma series. In 1750 he republished most of these under the collective title, Opere Varie Di Architettura Prospettive Grotteschi Antichita Sul Gusto Degli Antichi Romani. This was afterwards reissued, each time with the same title page (and date) but with varied contents; a new title-page was printed in 1798. In our account of the contents format we have described that of the Royal Academy's copy; which was probably issued after 1761 (see Robison, Piranesi, p.212-214).


Acquired by 1802. Recorded in A Catalogue Of The Library In The Royal Academy, London (1802).

Binding Note

18th-century mottled calf, upper cover gilt-stamped with arms of Britain and 'R.A.'; rebacked in 20th century, red and green morocco spine-labels lettered 'Acqua Giulia Carceri Lapides' and 'Piranesi', spine lettered 'R.A.' Bound with three others.

Name as Subject


Architecture - Fantastic architecture - Italy - History - 18th century
Pictorial works - Italy - 18th century
Armorial bindings - Great Britain - 18th century


Giovanni Battista Piranesi, draughtsman, engraver

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