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Giovanni Battista Piranesi
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Draftsman, printmaker, architect, and art theorist. Large prints depict the buildings of classical and postclassical Rome and its vicinity and contributed considerably to Rome's fame and to the growth of classical archaeology and to the Neoclassical movement in art. Born to a stonemason and builder, studied with maternal uncle, a waterworks engineer. Went to Rome 1740 and studied etching with Giovanni Vasi. Etched a group of small views of Rome used to illustrate guide books, and in 1743 published the Prima Parte di Architetture e Prospettive. Returned to Venice 1743, studied with Tiepolo, and returned to Rome ca. 1745 to work on the Vedute di Roma, the Grotteschi, the Carceri, and Le Antichità Romane, pub.ished 1748. 1751 Giovanni Bouchard published Le Magnificenze di Roma including 34 of the Vedute, 2nd editions of Le Antichità, and of the Carceri. Continued to publish from Rome working with son on further etchings the year of his death, 1778. Publication of his work by his family in Rome continued until 1798; in about 1800 sons moved to Paris and reisssued their father's plates from there (first Paris editions). Plates continued to be printed in paris until 1839, when they were bought by the Camera Apostolica and are now in possession of the Calcografia Nazionale. (see: 1973 Colnaghi catalogue, artist's file, for brief synopsis of dates and editions)