Veduta di Villa Ludovisi (with an earlier view by Israel Silvestre)


Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778),  etching, 1748 [signed in the plate lower left, and titled]. References: Wilton-Ely 87, Focillon 90. First Edition. From Varie Veduti de Roma Anticha e Moderna. In very good condition, stray spots of oil mostly on verso not affecting image, a written number in margin upper right, 4 3/4 x 7 3/4, the sheet 8 3/4 x 12 3/4 inches.

A fine early lifetime example from this series of small plates made early in Piranesi’s career. Printed in black on a firm cream laid paper.

The plates of the Views of Ancient and Modern Rome were made at the outset of Piranesi’s career. Impressions from the First Edition are rare; in fact any impressions from the set are quite rare, largely because Piranesi sold the plates, and they were not included in the many frequently re-issued editions of Piranesi’s collected works.

The Villa Ludovisi in Rome was built in the 17th century by Domenichino for the Cardinal Ludovico Ludovisi; the magnificent gardens were designed by Andre Le Notre, the architect of the gardens of Versailles.

The plate below by Israel Silvestre (1621-1691), an eminent 17th Century etcher, shows the Ludovisi Palace about 75 years earlier, before the construction of the gardens and elaborate entrance area and fountain. (This etching will be sold as an interesting companion piece to the Piranesi impression).




View of Villa Ludovisi circa 1770 by Israel Silvestre (1621-1691)