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View of the Pantheon of Agrippa, Today S. Maria ad Martyres, from Views of Rome
Pianesi's view of the Pantheon was the first print he completed following his 1761 publication of the Catalogo inciso, which included fifty-nine Vedute di Roma. This print marks an important point in Piranesi's career, both as the first etching added to the Catalogo and as one of the first plates created after the move of his studio to the Palazzo Tomati. The plate was signed presso l'autore nel Palazzo Tomati and sold to his customers for three paoli. While Piranesi uses much the same positional formula as in his 1757 Colosseum, a nearly frontal panorama from a low viewpoint, he displays the ancient monument within its contemporary environment while allowing it to control the frame.
Filling almost the entire print, the Pantheon dominates the marginal scenes of eighteenth-century life. Its exaggerated scale is only emphasized by the placement of tiny figures climbing to the dome's oculus. Additionally, Piranesi's decision to se a larger plate than in any of his previous vedute only reflects more his emphasis on the grandiosity fo the Pantheon. His concern, however, is not only for the building's enormous magnificence but for its modifications, as revealed by his meticulous attention to visual detail and the legend at the bottom of the print. As the text notes changes directed by Popes Urban VIII and Alexander VII, the image visually defines the gates added to the portico and the seventeenth-century bell towers.
from Sullo, The World of Piranesi: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Learning beyond the Classroom through Italian Language and Culture (Notre Dame, 2010)