Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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Lapides Capitolini… (Capitoline Inscriptions…)
  • Giovanni Battista Piranesi
    born: Mogliano Veneto, Republic of Venice (present-day Italy) ; died: Rome, Papal States (present-day Italy) ; active: present-day Italy
  • Lapides Capitolini… (Capitoline Inscriptions…), 1762
  • Lapides Capitolini sive Fasti Consulares Triumphalesq. Romanorum ab urbe condita usque ad Tiberium Caesarem (Capitoline Inscriptions or Consular and Triumphal Lists from the Founding of the City to the Reign of Tiberius Caesar)
  • Where object was made: Italy
  • etching
  • Image Dimensions Height/Width: 576 x 1226 mm
    Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 694 x 1492 mm irregular
    Mat Dimensions: 32 1/2 x 60 in
  • Museum purchase: Letha Churchill Walker Memorial Art Fund
  • Not on display
  • 2009.0033
Label Text
Catalogue raisonné

Exhibition Label:
"Empire of Things," 2013, Kate Meyer
These four prints give a sense of the broad range of Piranesi’s antiquarian interests. Piranesi’s training as an architect informed his ideas about antiquity, which take the form of meditative fantasies (as in the Tomb of Nero, also known as Fantastic Landscape with a Stranded Dolphin), designs for objects that emulate Roman design (Design for a Chimneypiece and a Table), and careful renderings of the ruins and remnants of Roman buildings and inscriptions that remain useful to present-day archeologists (Capitoline Inscriptions and Plan of the Campus Martius). Through his careful documentation of ancient Roman architectural remains-“these speaking ruins,” as Piranesi once described them-he participated in the “Graeco-Roman debate,” arguing forcefully in his texts and polemical works (such as Capitoline Inscriptions and Plan of the Campus Martius) for the superiority of the eclectic Roman style in contradistinction to the “noble simplicity” of ancient Greek design and architecture