PIRANESI, Giovanni Battista
(b. 1720, Mestre, d. 1778, Roma)
Diverse Maniere d'adornare i Cammini1769
Etching, 210 x 270 mm
Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris
In the 1760s Piranesi adopted a stance of pluralistic openness with regard to the most diverse styles of antiquity, none of which could claim sole preeminence. This eclectic attitude, which allowed access to the cultural achievements of history free of value judgments, found visual expression in his Diverse Maniere d'adornare i Cammini (Diverse ways of ornamenting chimneypieces), published in 1769, which contains a freely assorted collection of Greek, Etruscan, Roman and even Egyptian forms.
The picture shows Egyptian-style wall decorations of the Caffè Inglese in Rome.