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Title: Piranesi : the eternal modernity of ruins
Authors: Sant Cassia, Paul
Keywords: Piranesi, Giovanni Battista, 1720-1778. Imaginary prisons
Piranesi, Giovanni Battista, 1720-1778 -- Criticism and interpretation
Rome (Italy) -- In art -- Exhibitions
Venice (Italy) -- In art -- Exhibitions
Issue Date: 2005
Citation: Sant-Cassia P. (2005). Piranesi: the eternal modernity of ruins.
Abstract: Giovanni Battista Piranesi was probably one of the greatest artists in the history of etching and the Vedute genre. But he was more than that. A visionary architect with colossal ambitions who hardly built any buildings, a tireless polemicist (erroneously) in favour of the supremacy of ancient Rome over that of Winkelmann’s Greece, he indelibly influenced the twin streams of neo-classicism (as evidenced in Sir John Soane’s Bank of England and Robert Adam’s furniture) and the romanticism of Coleridge and De Quincey, the first to map out for us the dark cartography of an agoraphobic imagination, a hallucinatory cineaste whose visions were projected in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, the passionate genius of ruins, and the first to transform culture into nature and back again.
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