Valeria Mirra

«De pure décoration», «d'une utilité générale»: la Calcografia Piranesi da Roma a Parigi (1799-1810)

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  • The aim of this paper is to analyse the activities carried out in France by Giovanni Battista Piranesi's two sons &ndash
  • from the relocation of their Calcografia from Rome to Paris in 1799 to the death
  • in 1810
  • of Francesco
  • who had been the chief continuator of his father's work &ndash
  • with a special focus on the cultural atmosphere of the French capital during their stay. Thanks to the richness of their legacy
  • the French Government's protection and the fruitful support of their many contacts with artists
  • intellectuals and politicians
  • the Piranesi brothers were able to take advantage of the opportunities Paris offered them. Along with the publication of the OEuvres de Jean-Baptiste et de François they devoted themselves to new projects that
  • on the one hand
  • had a didactic purpose
  • such as the institution of an Académie de Beaux Arts and
  • on the other hand
  • implied the adaptation of the engraving technique to the new market needs
  • as shown in the production of the Dessins coloriés and in the establishment of a factory at Mortefontaine for the production of terracotta vases and architectural ornaments
  • that eventually led to the bankruptcy of the Piranesi's business in France


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