Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Back to Piranesi

A self portrait of Piranesi.

Here we are, back in the 1700's you have logged on to see some wacko display baroque etchings. It amazes me there is any interest in this stuff at all. in fact I think a few years ago there was no interest.

Above is the forum of Nerva, which is from the Roman etchings and not the Carceri, or prisons. I thought it was interesting how the ancient architecture has been woven into the city. I have been to Rome, but only briefly. I guess this must still exist. I would like to see it. If Dickens were an etcher in 18th century Rome, this is what his work would have looked like.
This is, of course from the Prisons series. If you squint at it you will see that it is one big light shape surrounded and in some places invaded by one big dark shape. All of the darks are hooked together into one large shape. If you were to put your finger down anywhere on that dark you could move anywhere within that large shape without lifting your finger. I have written before about linking your darks here. Piranesi has been criticized for overdoing the chiaroscuro and also called the Rembrandt of architecture. I like the intricate shapes of all of that fell machinery he has silhouetted before the light middle ground of the painting.

This one seems less organized then some others it lacks the large unifying darks that holds the one above together. You can see an enormous collection of Piranesi's work here. I believe tomorrow I will stay with etching but back and continue showing the etchings of Rembrandt. I have to end for tonight, I am too exhausted to continue, that happens sometimes.

6 comments:

Jim Feldman said...

Starving artists might be interested to know that it's sometimes possible to find relatively inexpensive Piranesi restrikes. As I'm sure you know, you want to be very careful not to overpay for something like that, but if you can find an inexpensive one there's good value there for an artist, in terms of close study and years of viewing pleasure. I used to have a pair of them and in retrospect it was the most value I ever got out of a transaction. To me they were priceless--an actual Piranesi hanging on my wall! Ok so the blacks weren't as velvety as a print you'd see in a museum, but hard to tell unless side by side...

billspaintingmn said...

These remind me so much of the pencil & pen & ink drawings I did in the 60's
I loved line detail.
I still have many of those nibs, crow quills & such. (speedballs)
Stape, although I've never done etching, I've done many drawings.
This has me revisiting my past artistic endevors.
Drawing is basic, yet home to me.
Thanks for taking me home Stape!

jeff f said...

How about Whistler and Zorn who were both great print makers.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Jim:
I guess I need to cover restrikes. I will post on that soon, there are lots of Rembrandt and Goya restrikes out there too.
............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Bill:
I was doing ink drawings the oo. Was that part of those times. I was looking at Heinrich Kley and Alphonse Mucha.
............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Jeff F
We are going there. There is a lot to cover first though. I have actually shown some Zorn etchings before.Love his figures.
......Stape