The Discovery of Piranesi's Final Project
Stephen Lauf



1 November 1778   Sunday





1 November 1812   Sunday

The wind from NW blew violently during most of the night, abated towards morning, temperature 48. The sky pearly[?] clear and the wind rose with the sun, the clouds ov.......ding the horizon. I distinguish this wind from the cloudy northwestern which continues generally violent for three days and after a ..........[?] rather than an intermission is continued from period to period from 2 to 3 or 4 weeks which I will remember during the winters 1779-80 and 83/4, having traveled during both those winters and experienced the renewal for more than 2 weeks, and in other winters and springs repeatedly. We had at meeting [blank] Rhoads from Derby accompanied by Halloway Jackson, the former about the usual time of ........ up passes in silence; expressed in a few words that had we carefully gathered the fragments of former plentiful feedings we should not have felt the abstinence of a silent meeting with the pain of hunger. Soon after our return P..... Wiltbank with 3 of his children came to dinner after which he read to me his sermon preached on Madison Fast Day July 20th which had been censured by more than one of his congregation; I thought it an excellent composition free from the political censure cast upon it, and felt as if he must have had more than the common aid of school learning to have addressed his audience so well on the decision. I .......... its publication. Temperature rose to 55, the wind abated in the evening almost to a calm.


1 November 1994
136.
Another aspect that is confirmed by the anatomical chart is that the heart rests upon the diaphragm, therefore, it is very much a transitional juncture from diaphragm to heart, and the very little (if none at all) overlap between the diaphragm and the heart. I also now know that the lungs pretty much engulf the heart. The lungs have presence in the front, the back, and all around the sides. In metaphorical terms, I can now say that the rhythmic pump is in the center, surrounded by the mechanics of osmosis.
141.
The Timepiece of Humanity explains and analyses the human body in a completely new and original way. The Timepiece explains the body as the ultimate symbol of humanity and its development. I have found a way of analyzing the symbolism of the human body through the combination and correlation of the body and time. Perhaps I have to expound on the importance and relevance of this correlation. Is it purely an imaginative idea on my part, or does the correlation of the body and time make sense? This is the type of question that I have the address when I am attempting to show the relevance of the Timepiece.


1 November 2007

Virtual Architecture 089


Virtual Architecture 090


1 November 2008
Stab one: a thesis declaration
"Contrary to common perceptions, it is the female that is hard and the male that is soft. In simple undeniable terms it is woman that enables embryonic development within her own body -- woman's bodies themselves are a hard protective shells (only women corporeally possess and facilitates the human egg that in turn allows fetal development). Men, on the other hand, very much do not have that "built-in" protectiveness, hence men make great displays about forever being on the defensive, and indeed it is almost exclusively men that have continually created our planet's foremost industry, if only to create that protective shell that their sex was not born with -- the age old military apparatus (shields, armor, war ships, submarines, tanks, stealth bomber, etc. are all "man"-made protective shells).
So what then is architecture? Is it a hard, 'simple', 'natural' protective shell that engenders the continuation of life? Or is it a soft formlessness forever (re-)designing an applied shell it doesn't naturally have?"
--ironically, I never mentioned skin
My thesis in a nutshell, you might say.


[1 November] 2015
On All Saints' Day, one of the greatest artists of the eighteenth century lay dying. Few Romans would have noticed. Nearly everyone was attending to their own dead, gathering sweet almond biscuits and candles to take to the city's cemeteries to celebrate the feast of All Souls the following morning. For eight days the bladder ailment that had tormented him for more than a decade intensified its assault on Giovanni Battista Piranesi. He believed that his family was trying to poison him, insisting in the days before his death that one of his workshop assistants bring him his food to prevent his family's access to his plate. His son suggested a doctor. Piranesi refused, pointing to his copy of Livy's history of Rome and saying, "I believe only him." But belief was not a cure. On November 9, 1778, Piranesi died. Learning of his death, an old Venetian friend wrote, "I heard rumors here that before he died he had his money (which must have been abundant) so well that his children despair of finding it. Indeed, it is said that he died crazy. If the strange things that people are saying are true, it cannot be otherwise."
Heather Hyde Minor, Piranesi's Lost Words (2015), p. 1.


1 November 2019

Mary Boone's 180 hours of community service   hours 57 58


1 November 2022   Tuesday
The first paragraph of Piranesi's Lost Words is a condensed conflation that produces little in terms of historical accuracy. If you want to more successfully imagine the days before a specific historical event, then approach those days with only the knowledge and viewpoint of the times just before the final days. After-the-fact/event-knowledge has no guaranteed bearing on the event itself.
It's a bit surprising that the words Circus Flaminius jam tum Apollinaris backwards might just be the last thing Piranesi ever etched. Yet, at the same time, it's wonderful to see Piranesi's final project seamlessly align with the transition from Maxentius to Constantine, the very hinge of ancient Rome's pagan/Christian double theater.


1 November 2023   Wednesday

Not till the evening did I remember Andrew's text/question sent late last night: "What does your life tell you about coincidences? I'm so curious." I never thought about coincidences in quite that way before, but the question does seem to merit a thoughtfully considered answer. Not sure, however, if this is the place to deliver that answer, although there are coincidences within The Discovery of Piranesi's Final Project worthy of elaboration. Stay tuned, I suppose.

My other thoughts were about Bianconi's presence, or not, at Piranesi's last Accademia di San Luca attendance 11 October 1778.




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