Piranesi as Designer
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roman ionic capitals, plate 20 from della magnificenza ed architettura de’ romani, 1761

Della magnificenza was Piranesi’s rejoinder to Julien-David Le Roy’s 1758 Les ruines des plus beaux monuments de la Gréce. Le Roy stated that the Ionic capitals of Rome were “weak and defective.” With polemical skill, Piranesi displayed nine elaborate Roman examples alongside Greek capitals from Le Roy’s book to refute this criticism.