The Arts of Piranesi: Architect, Etcher, Antiquarian, Vedutista, Designer

review by Sheldon Brown


The advent of digitization has created methods of cultural production that bring new considerations to the relationships between ideas, artifacts, and audiences. Looking at the San Diego Museum of Art’s exhibition Piranesi, Rome, and the Arts of Design, conceived by Michele De Lucchi, one can observe the effects of digitization, as the eighteenth-century designer and fabulist’s work is expressed though twenty-first-century opportunities. The show goes far beyond previously typical methods of curation, creating entirely new incarnations of Piranesi’s work. The result is an exhibition of eighteenth-century work with the resonance of a twenty- first-century cultural spectacle.

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