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Thursday, 23 January 2020

Giovanni Battista Piranesi's etching, “Candelabrum Base in the Palazzo Lante in St. Eustachian”, 1778



Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–1778)

“Candelabrum Base in the Palazzo Lante in St. Eustachian” (aka Candelabro ornato con diversi arabeschi. Si vede nel Palazzo dell Emo Card. Lanti a S.Eustachio” [Candlestick adorned with several arabesques. It can be seen in the Palazzo dell Emo Card. Lanti in S. Eustachio]), 1778–80, from the series of 110 plates (see Wilton-Ely [1994] vol. 2, pp. 961–62), “Vasi, candelabri, cippi, sarcofagi, tripodi, lucerne, ed ornamenti antichi disegnati ed incisi dal Cav. Gio. Batt. Piranesi (Vases, candelabra, grave stones, sarcophagi, tripods, lamps and ornaments designed and etched by Cavaliere Giovanni Battista Piranesi). First edition published in 1778. This impression is from the second Paris edition (indicated by the added plate number) published by Ambroise Firmin-Didot (1790–1876) in c.1835.

Etching with engraving on heavy laid paper with full margins and centre-fold (flattened) as published.
Size: (sheet) 82 x 54.8 cm; (plate) 53.1 x 39 cm.
Numbered on plate: (upper right corner) “92”.
Lettered on plate with dedication in Italian: (centre of upper edge) “Al Signor Cavaliere Giovanni Rous Inglese/ amatore delle belle arti/ In atto d’ossequio il Cavaliere Gio Batta Piranesi D.D.D.”; (centre of lower edge) “Candelabro ornato con diversi arabeschi. Si vede nel Palazzo dell Emo Card. Lanti a S.Eustachio./ Cavalier Piranesi F.”

Wilton-Ely II.1068.987 (John Wilton-Ely 1994, “Giovanni Battista Piranesi, The Complete Etchings”, vol. 2, San Francisco, Alan Wofsy, p. 1068, cat. no. 987); Hind 87; Giesecke 120; Höper 13.106; Ficacci (Taschen) 832.

Wilton-Ely (1994) offers the following description of this print:
“Candelabrum base with a merman flanked by snakes, and goat’s heads, cornucopias and other ornaments.” (p. 1068).

See also the description offered by the Metropolitan Museum of Art:

Condition: richly inked and near faultless impression with full margins and centre-fold (as published, but flattened). The sheet is in almost pristine condition for its considerable age (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds—beyond the flattened centre fold of publication—losses, abrasions, stains, foxing or significant signs of handling—but there are small pencil notations at the lower corners from previous collectors and the back of the sheet has marks).

I am selling this huge etching in museum quality condition for a total cost of AU$668 (currently US$458.98EUR413.95/GBP349.50 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this stunning etching of a candelabrum from the collection of Cardinal Lante—possibly a print designed to showcase a concocted artefact that Piranesi created and sold to the Cardinal based on Piranesi’s marketing of his partly restored and partly confected “antiquities”—please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.










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