• Copy of the Plafond in Hadrian’s Villa

    Technique:
    watercolour over etched outline with light brown tone
    Dimensions:
    50,7×50,4 cm

Copy of the Plafond in Hadrian’s Villa

Title:

Copy of the Plafond in Hadrian’s Villa

Material:

Technique:

watercolour over etched outline with light brown tone

Dimensions:

50,7×50,4 cm

Inventory Number:

ОР-8787

Comment:

Engraving highlighted with gouache reproduces the stucco ornament on the vault of the nymphaeum in the northern part of Hadrian’s Villa. The ceiling, known since the 17th century, which is well preserved to our days, was engraved and published by Piranesi in 1778 [Wilton-Ely 1994. P. 984. N 906]. The composition of this stucco ornament, engraved by Piranesi on measurement between 1749 and 1754, is distinguished by simplicity and perfection. The meticulously executed ornamental motifs excluding the figures of man or animals are treated in a very low relief : palmettes and vines are reminiscent of the ornamental details in Villa Farnesina in Rome. Judging by the marking of the bricks, the vaults date back to 120 AD. L.Mirri and G. Carletti [Mirri, Carletti 1776], the creators of a series of etchings, probably undertook the task of copying this colour reproduction from the rectangular ceiling by Piranesi.The rectangle is turned into a square with the addition of a composition of dancing fauns’figures in the corners. Afterwards, the ceiling with these changes was reproduced in the edition of engravings by Nicola Pons [Joyce 1989]. Clerisseau copied fragments of the central part of this ceiling (see cat. no. 86, 87) not from the vault of the nymphaeum in Hadrian’s Villa, which he had visited more than a few times with Piranesi, but from some graphic reproduction. Author's comment: Valery Shevchenko

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