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Image of The Pier with a Lamp

Giovanni Battista Piranesi
Italian, 1720–1778

The Pier with a Lamp

about 1749
From the series, Carceri di Invenzione (1st edition), Plate 15

Object Type: Print
Dimensions:
16 3/8 in. x 21 3/4 in. (41.59 cm x 55.25 cm)
Medium and Support: Etching and engraving on paper
Accession Number: 1991.0002

Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Weil, Jr., in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Weil, Sr., and Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase


This impression is from Plate XV of Piranesi's "Carceri..." series depicting fantastic architectural designs. As Andrew Robinson has observed: "The Pier with the Lamp" is one of the grandest of the early "Carceri..." as well as the most fascinating example of Piranesi's extraordinary use of etching technique.... By greatly enlarging the springing arches and making them the dominant motif in the design, Piranesi created a simple but stately progression of grand curves, offset at various angles. Having set the basic forms, the artist then elaborated and refined the shading in multiple layers as in a painting."

See Andrew Robison, :Piranesi: Early Architectural Fantasies," exh. cat. (Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 1986), 43.

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