The Discovery of Piranesi's Final Project
Stephen Lauf

3 October 1778   Saturday

27. A circus surrounded with porticos.

3 October 1979
Papal Mass at Logan Circle.

3 October 2022   Monday
I'm becoming more and more dismayed at Heather Hyde Minor's portrayal of Francesco Piranesi as the major villain of Piranesi's Lost Words. Return to this page again soon to see exactly why I'm dismayed.


"Her father also taught her [Laura Piranesi] how to be wily, an ability she did continue to practice after leaving his house in 1778. . . . She passed this inheritance on to her own daughter, who fought fiercely for the return of her grandfather's copperplates when they were stolen by marauding Neapolitan troops in 1799."
Heather Hyde Minor, Piranesi's Lost Words (University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2015), p. 183.

The above appears to be a great deal of misinformation because:

"At length finding his own position uncongenial, Francesco Piranesi, towards the middle of 1798, packed up the copper plates of his father's etchings and his working tools as a craftsman, and transferred his energies to Paris, going thither by sea. During the voyage the ship fell in with and was captured by a squadron under Sir Thomas Troubridge, which had become detached from Lord St. Vincent's fleet. Nelson was then at Naples on the Vanguard, and British ships were actively employed in that part of the Mediterranean in blockading ports so as to prevent supplies reaching the French troops. The captured ship containing Piranesi's property was an armed French brig laden for the most part with spoil taken by the French from the Italians. The name of Giovanni Piranesi and the fame of his etchings were evidently known to Admiral Troubridge, for he felt respect for the etchings sufficient to cause him to persuade the officers and men who had effected the capture to restore the copper plates to the son of the etcher. He further obtained from the French Government the concession that these plates should be admitted into France free of duty, and that Francesco Piranesi should be protected in his future possession of them. After Troubridge had succeeded in making these arrangements, Francesco came on board the Admiral's ship and received back his property. At the same time he presented to Troubridge a complete set of impressions."
Arthur Samuel, Piranesi (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1910), pp. 164-6.

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