Sublime Ideas: Drawings by Giovanni Battista Piranesi (Hardcover)
A beautifully rendered book that is the most important study of Piranesi’s drawings to appear in more than a generation.
In a letter written near the end of his life, Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–78) explained that he left his native Venice because no patrons were willing to support “the sublimity of [his] ideas.” Residing in Rome, he became internationally famous as a printmaker and designer, among other numerous pursuits. While Piranesi’s notoriety stems from his etchings, he was also an accomplished draftsman who first developed much of his work in drawings.
Sublime Ideas is the most comprehensive, updated study of Piranesi’s drawings with over two hundred illustrations offering insight into his life and creative endeavors. Coinciding with the Morgan’s Spring 2023 exhibition, Sublime Ideas diligently surveys the artist’s enduring work as an artistic force.
— New York Review of Books
"This beautifully produced volume, and the exhibition it catalogues, looks anew at the Morgan Library's unsurpassed treasure trove of drawings by Piranesi (1720-78), taking them less as evidence for the ideation of particular etchings than as records of thought processes that lasted sometimes over decades... One of the rare positives from COVID, this is scholarship that many will relish."