Giambattista Piranesi’s Vedute di Roma (Views of Rome) was one the signal achievements of his long and productive career. Piranesi, born in Magliano Veneto in 1720, worked on these prints from the late 1740s until shortly before his death in Rome in 1778, publishing 138 large-scale views of the major monuments in the Eternal City. The prints were widely collected, and the circulation of Piranesi’s views popularized travel to Rome through the eighteenth century and beyond. There were many printings of the Vedute. After the artist’s death, the plates were inherited by his sons Francesco and Pietro. In 1838, the plates were acquired by the Calcografia Camerale Romana (the Papal States’ official print shop), which published some posthumous editions.
Image: Giovanni Battista Piranesi. Italian, 1720–1778. Basilica of Constantine and Maxentius from Vedute di Roma, 1748–80. Etching. Yale University Art Gallery. The Arthur Ross Collection. 2012.159.11.114