Piranesi as Designer
Piranesi as Designer: Exhibition Catalogue


Renowned as one of the finest printmakers of the eighteenth century, Giovanni Battista Piranesi is best known for his etched views of Rome and its antiquities, as well as for his highly influential suite of drawings entitled Carceri, or Imaginary Prisons. Trained as an architect, Piranesi revolutionized architecture and design through his combination of decorative elements and ornamental motifs from the Egyptian, Etruscan, Greek, and Roman styles; yet his work as the designer of interiors and furnishings has been largely uncelebrated. Published in conjunction with a major exhibition at the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Piranesi as Designer explores the far-reaching impact of Piranesi’s modernist style on three centuries of architecture and design.

Through more than two hundred etchings, original drawings, paintings, and decorative arts objects, this book examines Piranesi’s concept of modern design and demonstrates his ongoing influence on architects and designers today, with featured work by leading Piranesi scholars and contributions from world-renowned architects Peter Eisenman, Michael Graves, Daniel Libeskind, Robert A. M. Stern, and Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown.

Available at The Shop at Cooper-Hewitt

Simultaneous hardcover and paperback editions
Specifications: 8.5 × 11”, 360 pages, more than 250 integrated illustrations
Retail price: $60.00 (hc), $45.00 (pb)
ISBN: 0-910503-96-6 (hc), 0-910503-95-8 (pb)