The Skeletons

A work made of etching on heavy ivory laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of etching on heavy ivory laid paper.

Date:

1750

Artist:

Giovanni Battista Piranesi
Italian, 1720-1778

About this artwork

This print is one of four grotesques (decorative fantasies) included in Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s popular series of architectural views of Rome and its surroundings. This kind of composition was inspired by Roman wall decorations discovered during the Renaissance and was meant to incorporate dissimilar elements in a whimsical and ornamental manner. This particular etching includes, among other things, a back view of the often-copied Farnese Hercules, a large zodiac wheel partly visible at the upper right, and various fragmentary skeletons adorned with tufts of wavy hair.

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

Giovanni Battista Piranesi

Title

The Skeletons

Origin

Italy

Date

1750

Medium

Etching on heavy ivory laid paper

Dimensions

389 x 542 mm (image); 393 x 547 mm (plate); 590 x 807 mm (sheet)

Credit Line

The Art Institute of Chicago

Reference Number

1922.5606

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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