Diverse Maniere d'Adornare i Cammini ed Ogni Altra Parte degli Edifizi Desunte dall'Architettura Egizia, Etrusca, Greca, e Romana

Rome: Generoso Salomoni, (c.1769). Edition: First Edition., Binding: Contemporary three-quarter green calf over green paper boards, with expertly rebacked spine. Spine with 5 raised bands, decorative gilt rolls and motifs in compartments. Title in gilt on red morocco label in 2. , Notes: Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720 – 1778) was a prominent Italian Classical archaeologist, architect, and artist, famous for his etchings of Rome. Although he was the son of a stonemason and studied structural and hydraulic engineering, Piranesi is best remembered for his monumental etchings, which demonstrate his lifelong interest in architecture and design, as is evident in this impressive collection of interior décor presented in Diverse Maniere d’Adornare i Cammini.
In Piranesi: The Complete Etchings, John Wilton-Ely writes that in the 1760s, Piranesi was given his first opportunity to exercise his skills as a designer, “with the freedom to pursue the imagination approach to design that he had advocated some twenty years earlier in the Prima Parte” (p. 886). “In his preface to the Diverse Maniere, which includes…designs in the Etruscan, Greek, Roman, and even Rococo styles, Piranesi argued for the complete freedom of the architect or designer to draw on models from every time and place as an inspiration for his own inventions” (from Met Museum). Wilton-Ely adds that Piranesi believed it vital to establish a “modern system of design” that would draw inspiration from both nature as well as “all that is excellent from the past, regardless of whether it is Greek or Roman, Etruscan or Egyptian” (p. 887). Wilton-Ely notes that the preparation for Diverse Maniere likely took several years, and that the sequence of plates often differ from copy to copy (p. 887).
Jonathan Scott describes the designs in Diverse Maniere as “uncompromisingly original,” “composed of so many carved and contrasting marbles and such intricate ormolu work that the finished product must have been extremely expensive” (p. 225). The plates in the text are intended to demonstrate Piranesi’s thinking; of particular importance is the chimneypiece, and most of the plates focus on this element of décor; “since this form of interior feature appears to have had no precedent in antiquity, it can effectively demonstrate the imaginative application of the past to a strictly contemporary requirement” (Wilton-Ely, p. 887).
“Piranesi’s etchings of his eclectic mantelpiece and furniture designs circulated throughout Europe, influencing decorative trends, and even functioned as a sales catalogue to advertise the objects he fashioned from ancient remains. Some of the fireplace designs included in the Diverse Maniere were actually executed under Piranesi’s direction, utilizing antique fragments discovered in recent excavations” (from Met Museum). Diverse Maniere remains an invaluable example of utterly original architectural and artistic designs from the renown Piranesi.
John Wilton-Ely, Piranesi: The Complete Etchings vol. 2, pp. 886 – 960; Jonathan Scott, Piranesi, pp. 215 – 238; BAL RIBA 2556; Millard Italian 100; Hind, p. 86; Heather Hyde Minor, "G.B. Piranesi's 'Diverse Maniere' and the Natural History of Ancient Art," in Memoirs of the American Academy at Rome 56/57 (2011-12); Susan Stewart, The Ruins Lesson (2020).
, Size: Large Folio (558x 400 mm), Illustration: A very good collection of plates from Piranesi’s “celebrated suite of designs for chimneypieces and other décor in an imaginative classical-inspired style.” Aside from chimneypieces, many of which take after the Egyptian style, the etches also cover other decorative details including “commodes, side tables, mirrors, tripods, candelabra, clocks, coaches, even coffee services” (Scott, p. 226). Contains plates only. 60 numbered plates. Lacking accompanying text, plates numbered 2, 3, 7, 8, 16, 17, 55, 56, 58-60. , Provenance: Ex-Libris Edward Francis Searles., Category: Book Art, Architecture & Design;. Plates are clean and crisp. Item #B6746

Price: $12,500.00

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