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Apr 26, 2018. - Sep 9, 2018.

Piranesi's Prisons

Legacy and Context

Click to enlarge

Giovanni Battista Piranesi (Italian, 1720−1778) Hadrian's Villa, Tivoli, The Canopus, from the series Views of Rome (Vedute di Roma), 1768
Etching on laid paper, Chrysler Museum of Art, museum purchase, 2016.9.1

Piranesi’s Prisons: Legacy and Context showcases Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s large-scale architectural etchings, Carceri d’Invenzione or Prisons of Invention, from the Chrysler’s collection.

The 1761 series is a monument in the history of art and includes some of the most well-known etchings in the world. Instead of depicting real prisons, the Italian artist used impossible, complex spaces along with heavy stone walls, and wooden beams, to create an experience far more punishing than bars and gates could suggest.

The exhibition will also include a number of other Piranesi prints in the Chrysler’s collection, from the Antichità Romane, the Grotteschi, and others. Search our online collection.

Click to enlarge this Toulouse-Lautrec poster

Giovanni Battista Piranesi (Italian, 1720−1778) The Grand Piazza, from the series Imaginary Prisons (Carceri d'Invenzione), 1761, Etching on laid paper, Chrysler Museum of Art, museum purchase, 2017.3.4

Click to enlarge this Japanese woodblock print

Giovanni Battista Piranesi (Italian, 1720−1778), The Round Tower, from the series Imaginary Prisons (Carceri d'Invenzione), 1761, Etching on laid paper, Chrysler Museum of Art, museum purchase, 2017.3.3