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The Drawbridge

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Of Piranesi’s famous print series the Carceri the museum owns both the first state (1749-50) and the second state (1761). Complete sets of the first state are especially rare. The series consists of fourteen prints, to which two more were added in the second series. For the second state Piranesi drastically revised the images and etched them much more deeply, enhancing the dramatic effect. These large prints of terrifying monumental dungeons show the brilliant technique and imagination of Piranesi.

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Collection book

Collection book Order


Title The Drawbridge
Material and technique Etching
Object type
Print > Two-dimensional object > Art object
Location This object is in storage
Dimensions Height 557 mm
Width 411 mm
Artists Graphic artist: Giovanni Battista Piranesi
Publisher: Giovanni Bouchard
Accession number L 1952/18 (PK)
Credits Purchased with the support of Lucas van Leyden Foundation, 1952
Department Drawings & Prints
Acquisition date 1952
Creation date in 1749-1750
Signature lower left: Piranesi f.
Watermark fleur-del-lis in circle with letter F below (62 x 55 mm, lower center, to the left, P3 from below; vV, 14P, plano; similar to Robison 5)
Provenance ; - ; art dealers Colnaghi, London; Purchased with the support of Lucas van Leyden Foundation, 1952
Exhibitions Rotterdam 1953; Maastricht 1998; Rotterdam 1998; Rotterdam 2006; Haarlem 2008; Rotterdam 2019; Rotterdam 2022
Internal exhibitions Piranesi . Canaletto . Tiepolo: prenten uit de collectie Bierens de Haan, een keuze van oud-directeur J.C. Ebbinge Wubben (2006)
Piranesi (2022)
External exhibitions Boijmans bij de Buren - De duizelingwekkende verbeelding van Piranesi (2019)
Research Show research Piranesi on Paper
Literature Focillon 1918, no. 30; Hind 1922, no. 7; Rotterdam 1953, nos. 1-14, pl. 2; Robison 1986, no. 33; Wilton-Ely 1994, no. 32; Maastricht 1998, pl. 8; Rotterdam 2006, ill.
Etching > Manual > Intaglio printing techniques > Printing technique > Technique > Material and technique
Geographical origin Italy > Southern Europe > Europe

All about the artist

Giovanni Battista Piranesi

Venetië 1720 - Rome 1778

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