The Unfinished Print: 3 June to 7 October 2001

Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Italian, 1720-1778
The Drawbridge (from the Carceri), published 1780s
etching, engraving, and scratching (second edition, fourth issue, state v/vi)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Rosenwald Collection 1943.3.6992

View state: i/vi | v/vi

The changes in the later states are usually interpreted as enhancing a sense of disorientation and existential malaise. However, a more detached analysis suggests that Piranesi shored up and clarified his initial conception, investing his imaginings with gravity and permanence where instability and caprice once reigned.

Copyright ©2001 National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
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