Piranesi drawings to be reunited for the first time

Sketch view of ruined Greek temple, overgrown with shrubberyView of people walking around the ruins of a Greek temple, in between columnsSketch of animals and people amongst the overgrown ruins of a Greek temple

Three of the Piranesi drawings that will form part of the Exhibition at Sir John Soane's Museum

The seventeen preparatory drawings made by the great eighteenth century artist and engraver Giovanni Battista Piranesi for his final work, published posthumously as Différentes Vues de Pesto, are to go on display together for the first time in an exhibition at Sir John Soane's Museum.

The exhibition, 'Master Drawings Uncovered', will help to deepen the understanding of an artist whose influence has ranged from Escher to the Harry Potter films.  The fifteen drawings that form part of Sir John Soane's Museum permanent collection will be joined by drawings from the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris and Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum to allow visitors to study at close quarters these masterful views of the three Doric temples at Paestum.  

Exhibition curator Dr Jerzy Kierkuc-Bielinski said `We’re delighted to be able to present a focused exhibition which celebrates the impeccable quality and influence of a small selection of drawings.  They have never been viewed by the public un-framed, and no exhibition has ever been devoted to their display as a discrete grouping.  The fifteen drawings in Soane’s collection have been displayed in the Picture Room of No.13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, but their position, in Soane’s ingenious picture planes, has not allowed close scrutiny.  We hope that the conservation and academic research resulting from the exposure of the drawings will throw considerable light on their history and the architectural legacy left by Giovanni Battista Piranesi.’

The exhibition is free of charge, and runs from 15 February to 18 May 2013.  For more information, please see our Exhibitions page or our press release

Posted on 22 January 2013 in Announcements
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