The Round Tower (1761) by Giovanni Piranesi

The Round Tower - Giovanni Piranesi - 1761

Artwork Information

TitleThe Round Tower
ArtistGiovanni Piranesi
Date1761
Mediumetching
Dimensions55.6 x 41.8 cm
Art MovementNeoclassicism
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About The Round Tower

Giovanni Battista Piranesi, an Italian etcher, archaeologist, designer, theorist and architect is known for his expertise in combining different etching methods to produce a series of sixteen prints of imaginary prisons. The Round Tower is one of the artworks from Piranesi’s “Carceri d’invenzione” (Imaginary Prisons) collection. It depicts a round tower with various structures extending from its sides.

This artwork by Giovanni Piranesi was created using etching, engraving techniques plus sulphur tint or open bite and burnishing which is documented in the first state of four. Published by Giovanni Bouchard in Rome, it displays a surrealistic eye-catching view of an imaginary stronghold that mixes classical antiquities with imaginative architectural designs.

Piranesi’s works are impressive for their fine details as he drew inspiration from classical antiquities such as the Renaissance and Baroque structures around Rome. His large prints depicting classical post-classical Rome led to growth in Classical Archaeology studies and contributed significantly to the emergence of Neoclassicism art movement.

The Round Tower by Giovanni Battista Piranesi continues to be appreciated today for its imaginative blend of architectural styles and thought-provoking atmosphere that immerses viewers into another world entirely.

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