Production and Framing

Charpentier/Ruins of classical architecture and tomb
Piranesi's etching of the tomb of Marcus Agrippa previous image) was adapted by Jacques-François Blondel as the final illustration in his edition of a sixteenth-century architectural treatise. In the foreground, Blondel has introduced a smiling skeleton, scattered bones, and a plaque with the word "fin" (end). His transformation of the earlier illustration suggests an ironic and perhaps humorous comment on the folly of human endeavor and the tradition of ruins imagery.