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The Marriage of Venice and Rome: What Makes Piranesi Great (lecture)

Date: Sunday, February 10, 2008
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Location: Getty Villa, Auditorium
Admission: Free; a ticket is required.

Venetian by origin, Roman by affinity, Giovanni Battista Piranesi was one of the most innovative and popular printmakers in western art. Explore what makes Piranesi's work great in this free lecture by curator and scholar Andrew Robison, who explains how Piranesi united artistic elements from both Venice and Rome into a new visual language characterized by a creative use of the past.

Although he lived in Rome for most of his life, Piranesi was born and raised in Venice and prided himself on being a "Venetian architect," a description that he frequently added to his signature. Particularly in his early works, Piranesi united the lightness of touch and the soft but brilliant light of Venetian art with the solidity and magnificence of Roman architecture, creating, in Robison's words, "intensely Venetian views of intensely Roman subjects." Robison shows some of Piranesi's greatest works and reveals how the artist brought a painter's eye to printmaking, creating etchings that resonate with the vitality, excitement, and mystery of architectural space.

The galleries will be open before and after the lecture so you can experience Piranesi's prints first-hand in the exhibition The Magnificent Piranesi, on view at the Getty Villa through March 10, 2008.

About Andrew Robison
Andrew Robison is Andrew W. Mellon Senior Curator of Prints and Drawings at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., where he has worked since 1973. An expert on printmaking and on 18th-century Italian art, Robison has curated numerous exhibitions at the National Gallery and published several articles and books including Piranesi, Architectural Fantasies: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Etchings.

How to Get Here
The Getty Villa is located at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California, approximately 25 miles west of downtown Los Angeles. See Hours, Directions, Parking for directions and parking information.

View of the Piazza Navona / Piranesi

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