The Discovery of Piranesi's Final Project
Stephen Lauf



16 April 1778   Thursday
Vases, Candelabra, Grave Stones, Sarcophagi. Tripods, Lamps and Ancient Ornaments   volume II

At Cav.r Weddel in England
In the Cavalier Piranesi Museum in Rome.
Cavalier Piranesi drawn and engraved.


22-23 y.o. Francesco Piranesi 1781
Collezione delle piu belle statue di Roma

Ganymede with Phrygian pileus on his head, chlamys on his shoulders, and cup and pastoral paedo in his hand, in the act of offering nectar to the eagle symbol of Jupiter: found in the possessions of Prince Barberini on the Via Tusculana in 1780. Now kept in the PIO Museum.
To the Holiness of Our Lord PIO SIXTEUS Pontifex Maximus of Antiquities most vigilant investigator, and most splendid Protector of the fine Arts
Francesco Piranesi D.D.D.
Ludovico Corazzari Ven. drawn     Francesco Piranesi engraved 1781.


16 April 1812   Thursday

Morning fair, some light clouds. Wind SWerly. Therm. 48 rose to 60 by Meeting time, and PM to 70.
Writing this afternoon to my son Miers and, having got to the bottom of the page, I rose and went into the garden while it might dry, and standing near the beehive one of them flew with violence against my forehead where my hat pressed upon it tightly and stung me. I came quickly into the house and without rubbing on the place applied some salt water to it. The sting did not feel severely at the place but it caused a sensation of an extraordinary nature thru my whole system. My blood acquired a force in inculation[?] which was almost audible in my aorta. It beat so violently on the drums of my ears as to excite pain. My face, hands, arms, and indeed my whole body was flushed as scarlet. A rash appeared all over me as if stung my nettles. My stomach swelled and I was near fainting with sickness. I loosened my collar and waistcoat, excited my esophagus and threw up the contents of my stomach and lay down on the sofa, A burning itch ran all over my surface and after about an hour the whole symptoms began to abate and now about 2 hours the rash has nearly disappeared and all the symptoms abated. There is yet a hot sensation under my flannels not unlike the prickly heat of summer. There remains a local sense of pain, not like that of a sting, but rather of a bruize[?] sore when touched but not swelled. If the nerves be cords[?] which like the spider[?], will cause sensation when touched throughout all their reliculations[?], it may account for my varied sensations; increased action in my arterial systems, sickness of the stomach, spasms in the nervous papill..[?] of my interior as well as exterior surfaces, for my whole intestinal canal was heated and the itching reached to the lowest orifices.
I feel as if the effects were going off and I hope without leaving any permanent ill consequences. Gratus Deo.


16 April 1984



16 April 1992



16 April 2012
Why are we having this conversation?
I like it when substance and self-promotion are the same thing because that frightens [critics] more than anything.


16 April 2023   Sunday

I'll finish reading Gijs Wallis de Vries's "The Treatise of the Pensile City" (2014) tonight. The first time I read it was like 8 years ago, and I started reading it again because it's probably the last 'treatise' on Piranesi's Ichnographia Campus Martius written before the discovery of Piranesi's final project. It's kind of a tough luck piece now.




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