The Discovery of Piranesi's Final Project
Stephen Lauf

24 September 1778   Thursday

Plan and section of the mausoleum of St. Helena, 1756.

Plan and elevation of the mausoleum of St. Helena, 1756.

Remains of the mausoleum of St. Helena, 1756.

47 y.o. Francesco Piranesi 1805
Le Antichitŕ della Magna Grecia   Parte III

Round and quadrangular metal mirrors, head needles, pins and other utensils used for ladies' toiletries in Pompeii.
Drawn and Engraved by F. Piranesi Year 1805

24 September 1812   Thursday

Morning without a cloud, nearly calm, vane N, temperature about 50°. Wind came by E to S, temperature rose to 66. At Meeting B Bryant said a few words emphatically. James expected to finish halving out the d....[?] on NE field this evening and to spread 100 bushels of lime on it tomorrow, not ready s....[?]. At 1/2 past 3 I went round to notify the viewers of my ground. whom I had not seen before. I now saw J Keen and Joseph Ashton who promised to attend, and I invited J'a Iones[?] a Justice to qualify them. I returned about 7 when it began to rain, which continued till 10.

24 September 2001
Re: travels in hyper-reality
Here I refer back to the degrees of separation that manifest the limits of reenactment. The degrees range nicely from the closest to authenticity, clear away to the furthest artificiality.

24 September 2017

zero nine three

24 September 2022     Saturday

Plan of the original Constantinian Basilica of Sts. Peter and Marcellinus attached to the mausoleum of St. Helena.

24 September 2023   Sunday

Say stuff about being happy that Francesco inhabits all of Piranesi's Circus of Caracalla story, from being Pierre-Adrien Pâris's student in 1772-3 to the publication of Calcographie des Piranesi, ou, Traité des arts d'architecture, peinture et sculpture: développés par la vue des principaux monumens antiques et modernes in 1804. Francesco is essentially the secret protagonist of the entire Piranesian "Circus of Caracalla" saga. The key to Piranesi's final project, turned out to be a lifetime project for Francesco.

"It always seemed as if Francesco was leaving clues, mostly because there are no explanations for the disparate Circus-of-Caracalla-related artifacts he later published."   --Lauf   2023.09.22

Yet, the Circus of Caracalla, albeit among other things, also appears at the very beginning of Piranesi's career. The difference being, where Piranesi, except at the very end, was about being doubly theatrical, Francesco was always about being accurate--from baroque epilogue to modern frontispiece.

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