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The Book “Piranesi. Roman Antiquities” Has Been Published in Riga

20-Oct-2016 / Charity & Sponsorship The Art Museum Riga Bourse, which forms a part of the Latvian National Museum of Art, in cooperation with the Embassy of Italy and Rietumu Charity Fund, has published an art book of its collection of graphic works by Giovanni Battista Piranesi.

The book has been published with dedication to the exhibition of works of this outstanding Italian artist from the Latvian museum collection, recently held in the Riga Bourse, where the bulk of this collection was presented.

The Latvian National Museum of Art has a large and diversified collection of works of this Italian master. It consists of over 500 graphic works which are either united in albums with theoretical descriptions or are presented as separate sheets of easel graphic works.

The main part of the book forms a catalogue of works devoted to ancient Rome and its environs, ancient monuments of architecture, monumental mausoleums, ruins, interiors of buildings, structures and other elements of architecture. Illustrations are accompanied with brief annotations. There is a numerical index at the end of the catalogue, where wider information on each presented etching is provided.

The book starts with an introduction by the President of the Latvian Academy of Sciences Ojars Sparitis. The keeper and compiler of the collection Valentina Opola, in her introductory article, tells about the painter, his art and the history of the Riga collection of his works.

“We are very glad to see that the book has turned out to be so informative and beautiful. We hope that the classical inheritance of this great graphic artist in our time will be not only interesting to the art connoisseurs, but will also provide considerable assistance in training of future architects and artists, where study of architectural classics forms a basic part,” noted the Chairperson of Rietumu Charity Fund Inga Shina.

Giovanni Batista Piranesi (1720–1778) occupies a special place in the European culture of the 18th century. Main artistic achievements of Piranesi are related to graphic works. There he immortalised Roman antique architecture and reconstructed, by using some remaining fragments, fully or partially lost objects of architecture. His etchings served as samples for many graphic artists.

Piranesi expressed interest in archaeology of Rome since a very young age. He studied Roman antiquities and participated in archaeological excavations. The artist’s interest in antique culture, professional knowledge in this area and a high level of excellence allowed him to create unique works of art, which brought fame and recognition to the author already during his lifetime.

The book “Piranesi. Roman Antiquities” is printed in a limited edition. It can be viewed and bought in the book stall of the Art Museum Riga Bourse. A number of albums, with the support of Rietumu Charity Fund, will be handed over to schools and colleges of art.



Eleonora Gailisha
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