The Round Tower (1761) by Giovanni Piranesi

The Round Tower - Giovanni Piranesi - 1761

Artwork Information

TitleThe Round Tower
ArtistGiovanni Piranesi
Dimensions55.6 x 41.8 cm
Art MovementNeoclassicism

About The Round Tower

“The Round Tower” is an etching by Giovanni Piranesi, created in 1761. This artwork is part of the “Carceri” series and exemplifies the Neoclassical art movement. The etching measures 55.6 by 41.8 cm and falls within the genre of interior depiction.

The artwork presents a striking, labyrinthine interior laced with stairways and arches, capturing the viewer’s attention with its dramatic interplay of light and shadow. The space depicted seems to be a grand, if somewhat fantastical, prison-like structure – a characteristic feature of Piranesi’s “Carceri” series. The composition is characterized by its sharp perspectives, with a towering round structure from which the artwork derives its name. Various figures populate this architectural maze, conveying a sense of smallness against the immensity of the stone edifice around them. The detailed workmanship of the etching enhances the texture of stonework and the density of the dark, brooding atmosphere, while the intricate play of lines invites a contemplation of the imaginary space, its purpose, and its inhabitants.

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