The Discovery of Piranesi's Final Project
Stephen Lauf



27 March 1778   Friday
Vases, Candelabra, Grave Stones, Sarcophagi. Tripods, Lamps and Ancient Ornaments   volume II

To His Excellency Mr. Aubreii Beauclerk Great Appreciator of the Fine Arts, and of Ancient Learning
In a certificate of true respect, and esteem Francesco Piranesi D. D. D.
Gently decorated ancient tripod is kept by the same Lord in England.
Ancient vase, which can be seen in the Author's Museum
Ancient vase, which is kept in the Author's Museum
Cav. Gio. Batt(ist)a Piranesi F.


24-25 y.o. Francesco Piranesi 1783
Temple of Isis at Pompeii

Etching by Francesco Piranesi of drawing by Louis Jean Desprez, with hand-colouring by Louis Jean Desprez.


45-46 y.o. Francesco Piranesi 1804
Calcography of the Piranesis

Antiquities of Benevento, Capua and their surroundings.
Besides the monuments that still exist, we will give, figured, the famous Benevento Arch, and the Amphitheater of Capua.
A volume, containing 60 plates
A volume intended for explanations.
10th, 11th & 12th Sections.
Part of the Mediterranean side.
Antiquities that can be found from the cave of Posilipus, along the coast, to Gata. It is there, as history attests, that Cicero, Lucullus, and the emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Caligula and Nero, seduced by the amenity of the site, the fertility of the soil, the temperature of the climate, established their houses of delight.
The antiquities, the plans, the points of view, will form two volumes, containing 200 plates.
There will also be an explanatory volume.
Antiquities of Lazio. Via appia, from Brindizi to Rome, with its surroundings. New discoveries made during the last drying up of the Pontine marshes, under the pontificate of Pius VI; sepulchres, mausoleums, towns, temples, and generally anything remarkable.
Three volumes, containing 220 plates
A volume of explanations and dissertations.
The famous Emissary of Emperor Claudius at Lake Fucino. The course of the waters will be depicted in detail; moreover, a general plan of the neighboring town, called Alba Lunga with the demonstration of its temples, theatres, amphitheatres, walls, etc.
A volume, containing 60 plates
An explanation volume will contain the specific details of the said emissary.


27 March 1812   Friday

Morning hazy, wind SW. Therm. 47 rose to 68. The grass is spring, buds swelling, numerous birds and insects gratulating returning Spring. I have read for 2 days past with much pleasure and I hope with some profit Dr. Reed's Essays on the Human Mind and Dr. Stewart on the same subject lent to me by my friend James Gibson. I mean to continue this course of reading, and find in these words many of my thoughts in private meditation clothed in excellent language. Toward sunset J Turner brought me a letter from T. G. in consequence of which I endowed[?] a note of J and W and gave a check for the net[?] proceeds. I have this day drawn an address to the President, Senate and Representatives of the U.S. in Congress assembled -- on the d......... of war. This subject was suggested to me on Wednesday last at the Philadelphia Insurance Office by my old friend Levi Holllingsworth. I propose to ........ and correct it this evening and perhaps transcribe it. 11 bushels wheat sent to the mill the 23rd, less one bushel for the toll[?] produced me 3 bags flour 422 pounds[?] and 2 bags of bran wheat of all the 6 bags made 168
wt. 10 B.... at 59# losing[?] only 7 1/2 wt. of 590#
the bags -- last time I had but 548# of which I sent a note[?] to Moses[?] and he has now corrected it.


27 March 2023   Monday

rare
things that are rare
The discovery of Piranesi's final project is a rare thing.
A discovery that no one was even looking for, including myself.
A discovery of something that no one even knew was there to find, again, including myself.
and yet
A discovery that validates so much of my life's work.
A discovery that, in a relatively short span of time, manifests the place for so many pieces.
I'm bearing witness to what a discovery manifests.
We're bearing witness to what a discovery manifests.




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