The Discovery of Piranesi's Final Project
Stephen Lauf

2 February 1778   Monday
Vases, Candelabra, Grave Stones, Sarcophagi. Tripods, Lamps and Ancient Ornaments   volume I

Drawing of a ceiling distributed in various stucco compartments which can be seen in one of the very large rooms in the Villa Adriana.
This Ceiling is vaguely distributed in its Bands and Squares, and the Architect has tried to arrange them in such a way that each of their minor parts is subject to the major ones. Many folds can be seen here, as they are in the first braiding in A, which is worked with overlapping sticks and other ornaments, so that it was richer than the bands in B C. But these, being both different in design, and in their greatness of execution, one supports the other, and all three oppose their backgrounds, which are decorated by them with different ornaments, and well-proportioned in that variety, but always run opposite one another other uniforms. I have filled in some of these parts because they are missing, but those shortcomings are the ones, as has been said above, which are recalled.
It should be noted that every part of this work has been worked on with great diligence according to the true good taste which reigned in Hadrian's time.
Cav. Piranesi F.

2 February 1812   Sunday

Morning cloudy, wind moderate from N. Therm. 31, ground frozen hard. about 9 the sun peeped thru the clouds and it began to thaw. Before noon the wind drew round by E to SWerly and a breeze from thence accelerated the thaw. My wife, Lydia and Jabez went to meeting. My ...... not yet well enough to risk going abroad and especially to sit long with my ankle down. James reports that the frost is gone and that the horses and wheels sink to the depth of 7 or 8 inches. I did not recollect on Friday last when I a made a note that there was 7 inches of frost in the ground. That the internal warmth of the Earth 50 thawed from the under surface as fast as 50 temperature of the atmosphere did from the upper surface of the plate of frozen earth, hence the frost may all be dissolved except in places permanently shaded when it may continue for many weeks if the frost be moderate during the night.

2 February 2014

Basilica of San Lorenzo scan plan north arrow

Basilica of San Sebastian scan plan north arrow

Basilica Sessorianum model in context in register with psa/iq

Old St. Peter's Basilica scan plan with Bernini's colonnade in register with psa/iq

Arch of Constantine plan schematic model in register with psa/iq

Circus of Maxentius Mausoleum of Romulus plan scan contours in register with psa/iq

Mausoleum of Constantina plan scan plan in register with psa/iq

2 February 2018

2 February 2021
page from 129 DIE IN JET!

2 February 2023   Thursday

"Giovanni Battista was not the only violent Piranesi. Francesco threatened his father with a knife because he would not give him money.10 Piranesi seems to have been at odds with Francesco over the sale of antiquities. A knowledgeable Englishman in Rome reported in 1770 that "he says he will not sell any of his antiquities, and threatens to have an Excommunication against his son if he ever parts with any of them."11
10. Giovanni Antonio Selva to Tommaso Temanza, n.d.
11. Thomas Jenkins to Charles Townley, December 12, 1770.
Heather Hyde Minor, Piranesi's Lost Words (University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2015), p. 188.

Francesco was 12 years old in 1770, and innocently let it slip out that his father planned to (eventually) sell his antiquities. Henceforth, Francesco learned to never let outsiders know what was going on in the business, and fabricated theatrics was the preferred means of keeping outsiders at bay.

Vases, Candelabra, Grave Stones, Sarcophagi. Tripods, Lamps and Ancient Ornaments   volume I

Vault and Wall of one of the Chambers belonging to the building of delight adjoining the Circus of Caracalla
Cav. Franco Piranesi engraved.       1778?

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