Piranesi and the Invented Fragment
 

Giovanni Battista Piranesi's beguiling archaeological phantasms form a striking contrast to the dream world of French rococo prints. Piranesi is best known for reimagining the world of antiquity from the eloquence of its ruins, degraded remnants that became a model for creating fragmented scenarios of his own invention. A generation later the critic Friedrich Schlegel observed: "Many works of the ancients have become fragments. Many modern works are fragments at the moment of their inception." Schlegel deemed every work of art the fragment of a greater whole, something that could only be realized by a leap of the spirit into the sublime. Thus, for romantic theorists the invented fragment or the artificially contrived ruin both embodied and expressed the extreme subjectivity of all aesthetic experience. The idea that a work of art could never be complete in itself was radical, and for Piranesi the subject of the ruin is often inseparable from the manner of its rendering.

INTRODUCTION | ETCHINGS | REMBRANDT | ROCOCO
PIRANESI | PARIS | MODERNITY | GLOSSARY | IMAGE INDEX | EXHIBITION INFORMATION

The Unfinished Print-Introduction Etchings as Drawings Rembrandt French Rococo Etched Proofs Piranesi and the Invented Fragment 19th Century Paris Modernity Glossary Image Index
French Rococo Etched Proofs

terms of use | home | Go to our page on Facebook Go to our page on Twitter