Why was he important?
Most outspoken architectural polemicist who believed absolutely in the supremacy of Roman over Greek Architecture (Pro-Roman vs. NeoClassisist)
a. Familiar classical shapes & forms -eg. Centralized objects, piazzas, porticoes, circuses, baths, axes and symmetry all arranged in a logic of the ancient Roman way.
b. Mausoleo Andriano / Hadrians mausoleum – but the surroundings, don’t exist.
c. Deliberately depicting his subject in accurately.
d. As a antiquarian/archaeologist,
e. Documentation and Recomposing a city or parts of a city through the understanding of ancient forms, - inventive, imaginative,
f. His work bounces between reality and fantasy.
a. Miniscule Human Figures – tiny people, in comparison to the buildings, magnifies and exaggerates the monuments, part of the glorification of the ancient architecture
b. Overgrowth of Vegetation. Enormous scale, overpowering the ruins and human figures. Nature taking over humanity or our built environment are subject to time and natural forces – Helplessness.
c. Birds Eye View; exaggerate the grandeur of the monuments – glorification
d. Un-Romantic- In comparison to his contemporaries, one that paints a more accurate depiction of the current social and political condition.
This schism between Reality and Fantasy, is the main ingredient in Piranesi’s work.
Beneath the surface of exaltation and glorification, one finds a different side depicting the longing or reminiscent of the architect for the past, subliminally suggesting the sense of dark, melancholy, despair and hopelessness. This irony opens up a discussion of what these etchings or drawings mean. Through his works, we will discover a schism that continually plays in Piranesi’s work that bounces between reality and fantasy, one that suggest the thought of negative thinking.