THE PIRANESI PROJECT Collage - In search of Piranesi's Rome
Project info

Piranesi Project
(In search of Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s Rome, 1720-1778)

I have always been fascinated by the transformations in the Roman buildings, post-decline. As a child I knew the story of the destruction of Pompeii, and its rediscovery in the 18th century.
While attending architecture school, the history lessons were those that most interested me. The history lessons stimulated my curiosity about the transformations undergone by the ancient Roman Empire, and its transmutation into a new reality in which the old aesthetic glory had to live within the dark ages.
During my studies in restoration I began to understand the process of their dilapidation, the history of their reconstruction, and how the ruins came to be in our time. However, I lacked the understand of how these 2000 years of transformations resulted in this mixture of styles and overlapping. The Piranesi Prints, created some 1500 years after the fall of the Roman Empire, illustrate the coexistence of medieval villages, baroque architecture, and Roman ruins.
This coexistence was begging me to unravel the history of changes which occurred in Roma and Trivoli.
In February, 2016 I traveled to Rome for professional development. I took the opportunity to visit many of the places illustrated by Piranesi in the mid-18th century.
I spent almost two months going through many sites in Rome, Villa Adriana and Tivoli, seeking the exact position where Giovanni Battista Piranesi stood, and photographed the old views in similar angles to his prints.
Back in Brazil I wanted to merge these two realities, inserting portions of the pictures in the photographs.

The 'collages' here are overlapping snippets of Piranesi prints, made in the mid-18th century, set on the photos of my own. I allowed myself my artistic freedom, but worked carefully to respect the original Piranesi work.

About Giovanni Battista Piranesi:

Bibliografia: FICACCI, Luigi. PIRANESI, Acqueforti. Taschen. Köln, 2006.