The Discovery of Piranesi's Final Project
Stephen Lauf

7 December 1778   Monday

Autre Vuë de la Façade du Pronaos, dessiné et decrit dans la planche V. Les Pilastres A ont l'entase, ou le renflement. Les Chapiteaux B sont d'une forme differente de ceux des Colonnes C, ils sont d'une architecture qui paroit grottesque, et ils semblent plutðt qui par eux mêmes se caracterizent pour Ioniques que pour Doriques. Leur hauteur et leur saillie ne diminuent cependant rien de leur dignité, elles semblent même l'accroitre à tout le Pronaos. L'Artiste qui n'a pas fait difficulté d'emprunter l'idée de la Volute Ionique, l'a neanmoins diminuée en D; ce qui leur a donne un air de légereté qu'ils n'auroient point euë,s'il se fut astreint a copier en tout l'ordre Ionique. L'on voit cependant ici des traits d'une invention, à la quelle on ne s'attendoit pas, et qui malgré leur hardiesse obligent d'avouer, que l'on ne pouvoit pas mieux se conduire en pareil cas.     Cav. Piranesi F.
Another View of the Facade of the Pronaos, drawn and described in Plate V. The Pilasters A have the entase, or bulge. The B Capitals are of a different form from those of the C Columns, they are of an architecture which appears cavesque, and they seem rather which by themselves are characterized for Ionic than for Doric. Their height and their projection do not however diminish their dignity, they even seem to increase it to the whole Pronaos. The Artist, who had no difficulty in borrowing the idea of ??the Ionic Volute, nevertheless reduced it to D; which gave them an air of levity which they would not have had if he had compelled himself to copy the Ionic order in everything. However, we see here features of an invention, which we did not expect, and which despite their boldness compel us to admit that we could not behave better in such a case.

7 December 1812   Monday

Morning without a cloud, wind SW, a heavy white frost. Temperature in 46 degrees, out 27 degrees. I left Ury with Redwood and Mary about 10 and going by the Bustleton Turnpike reached town about 12. Dined at SL's, PM paid sundry visits. At 7 met at W. Lewis's; Dr. Hunt did not attend, adjourned till 12 tomorrow. Temperature rose to 42 degrees.

7 December 2005
Re: reenactment
I now see the rendering of Castle Howard in Vitruvius Britannicus as (what I believe to be) the true inspiration of Piranesi's architectural design sense especially as represented in his Il Campo Marzio (of which the Ichnographia is just a part). A comparison of the aerial view of Castle Howard (and of Blenheim) in Vitruvius Britannicus (1715-1725) with the aerial views within Il Campo Marzio (1762) are very similar, both in viewpoint and in the 'style' of architecture portrayed. I have yet to see any direct reference that Piranesi ever saw Vitruvius Britannicus, but Piranesi's close personal relationship with Robert Adam in Rome very much puts it (Piranesi's seeing the Vitruvius Britannicus) well within the realm of possibility. Plus, the Ichnographia is dedicated to Adam, which may well indicate a dedication to the "imagination" of British architecture overall.

7 December 2018

7 December 2022   Wednesday
Had to call a plumber, hence it was a vey draining day.

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