Piranesi as Designer
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imaginary architectural composition with inscription from sallust in osservazioni sopra la lettre de m. mariette, fromparere su l’architettura: della introduzione e del progresso delle belle arti in europa de’ tempi antichi, 1767

This extravagant façade from Piranesi’s manifesto of design, the Parere su l’Architettura (Opinions on Architecture), combines virtually all known systems of antique ornament: Greek, Egyptian, Roman, and Etruscan. Piranesi challenged his critics with an inscription from the Roman historian Sallust: Novitatem meam comtemnunt, ego illorum ignaviam (“They despise my novelty, I their timidity”).