Buckminster Knows 037






Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778), arguably the most gifted engraver ever, always described himself as an architect though only one building was ever put up from his designs. The Santa Maria del Priorato on the Aventine Hill in Rome (1764-66), of which David Watkin writes: 'Rather overloaded with crisp symbolical ornament, its fa├žade ends up looking more like an engraving than a building'. (D. Watkin, The Forum Romanum , London 2009, p. 33)
Even though considering the quality of Piranesi's engravings, it's quite safe to assume it's meant more as a compliment then a reproach, I'm not really a fan of the Santa Maria. I would have preferred a story where Piranesi is only a brilliant engraver and we could only have guessed what his genius would have accomplished had he ever decided to build.
Still, it never hurts to take one more look at his beautiful engravings. Enjoy.

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