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The Dizzying Imagination of Piranesi

The Italian Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–1778) is considered to be the greatest print artist of his time. For the first time in a decade, a large Piranesi exhibition will be shown in the Netherlands. The Kunsthal is presenting over seventy large-format prints by Piranesi from the impressive graphic art collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. As an artist, Piranesi became known in the eighteenth century for his ‘Vedute di Roma’, an extensive series of etchings of impressive views of the ruins and monuments of Rome. In his famous series of prints featuring imaginary prisons, the ‘Carceri d’Invenzione’, Piranesi – who was originally an architect – expressed his spatial fantasies. Prints of rare quality are shown from both these series, as well as eight colossal books that highlight the dizzying imagination of Piranesi – as an artist, researcher and designer.

The Kunsthal helps in keeping the collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen visible as part of the city-wide project ‘Boijmans Next Door’, in which eight locations are participating. Between January 2019 and January 2020, the Kunsthal will collaborate with Museum Boijmans on realising three exhibitions. After ‘Picasso on Paper’, an exhibition of prints by Giovanni Battista Piranesi will be shown from 25 May and an exhibition on the subject of landscapes will follow in the autumn.
Relevant research areas: Western Europe, 18th Century, Etching

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