The Discovery of Piranesi's Final Project
Stephen Lauf



11 September 1778
A package of drawings along with a letter arrives, from London.










11 September 2000
@ Quondam
...create many (crazy) model databases while working on Unthinking an Architecture...
...Piranesi images over large color scan images... ... create contemporary compositions using all the different Piranesi imagery.


11 September 2014

Antichita Capitoline plan image attached with ICM edge plan etc.


Antichita Forum plan image attached with ICM edge plan


11 September 2022

E. The Works in Architecture, by R. and J. Adam, quoted by G., p. 119 (1764?).
987-990. Four plates, from the drawings of Robert Adam?
BNE, Ha 62 (Adam collection) does not contain these plates.
Henri Focillon, Giovanni-Battista Piranesi: essai de catalogue raisonné de son oeuvre (1918), p.66


Arthur M. Hind, Giovanni Battista Piranesi: A Critical Study (New York: 1922), p. 87.

"The plates of the Syon decoration are dated 1778, the year of Piranesi's death, and were published in the second volume of the Works in Architecture the following year."
Jonathan Scott, Piranesi (London: Academy Editions, 1975), p. 318.

"It was at Syon House, Middlesex, however, that the first mature effects of Adam's imaginative eclecticism were carried out; they were, in fact, recorded by Piranesi himself in four plates made from the architect's design in 1761. While these were not published until 1779, in Volume II of The Works in Architecture of Robert and James Adam, they had undoubtedly encouraged Piranesi in turn to publish his revolutionary thesis in the Parere su l'Architettura of 1765."19
19. Vol. II of The Works in Architecture containing Piranesi's four plates of Syon, first appeared in five instalments before being published in one volume in 1779.
John Wilton-Ely, The Mind and Art of Giovanni Battista Piranesi (London: Thames and Hudson, 1978), pp. 113 and 134.

"Four plates etched by Piranesi on the basis of drawings sent to him from London by Robert Adam, illustrating portions of the entrance hall and anteroom he had decorated in 1761 at Syon House, residence of the Duke of Northumberland near London. The date of the engravings is unknown, but is generally assumed to fall between 1762 and 1764. The four plates were published in Volume II of the Works in Architecture by Robert and James Adam, London, 177[9]. Since Piranesi sent them to his customers in London, the copperplates are not part of the modern collection of the Calcografia in Rome."
Luigi Ficacci, Giovanni Battista Piranesi: The Complete Etchings (Cologne: Taschen, 2000), p. 494. Ficassi mistakenly dates the publication of Volume II of Works in Architecture as 1778.

"While the duke's private rooms at Syon were to be situated on the north of the courtyard space, the existing rooms in the other three wings were transformed into an impressive sequence of state apartments (or "rooms of parade," as described at the time) beginning with the lofty Entrance Hall extending the full height of the building, Adam's design for converting this existing Tudor hall into a space of Roman magnificence is shown in one of the four engraved plates that were etched in Rome by Piranesi in 1761 from Adam's drawing and later published in The Works in Architecture of Robert and James Adam (1779)."45
45. For Piranesi's four plates of Syon, etched for The Works in Architecture of Robert and James Adam, vol. 2 (London 1779) part 4, pls. I, III, IV and V, based on drawings signed and dates by Robert Adam 1761, see Wilton-Ely, Complete Etchings, 2:1101-1105, nos. 1010-1013.
John Wilton-Ely, "Amazing and Ingenious Fancies" in The Serpent and the Stylus (Ann Arbor, MI: 2006), p. 229.

Wilton-Ely proclaims that the etchings for Syon House "undoubtedly encouraged Piranesi in turn to publish his revolutionary thesis in the Parere su l'Architettura," yet Wilton-Ely never mentions the etchings for Syon House when discussing the Parere su l'Architettura within the "Introduction" of Observations on the Letter of Monsieur Mariette: With Opinions on Architecture, and a Preface to a New Treatise on the Introduction and Progress of the Fine Arts in Europe in Ancient Times. Plus, Wilton-Ely never mentions that the etchings for Syon House are dated with the words, "Published as the Act directs 1778."




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