About this artwork
One of two Piranesi engravings of the Pyramid of Cestius, this etching was published posthumously by the artist’s sons. The pyramid was essential viewing for many who undertook the Grand Tour in the 18th and 19th centuries. Constructed c. 18 b.c./c. 12 b.c. as a tomb for the powerful Roman magistrate Gaius Cestius, the marble-clad structure is reminiscent of the Roman fad for all things Egyptian. In fact, the similarity of the tomb to the pyramids of Nubia suggests that Cestius served on a military campaign in Egypt. Today Cestius’s well-preserved tomb remains Rome’s only existing ancient Egyptian-style pyramid.
Currently Off View
- Prints and Drawings
- Giovanni Battista Piranesi
- The Pyramid of Gaius Cestius, from Views of Rome
- Etching on heavy ivory laid paper
- Title and subtitles on wall at lower right in image. Address (Presso l'Autore) and signature (Piranesi F.) on plate under image. Stamped on verso CD and The Art Institute of Chicago.
- 387 x 531 mm (image); 392 x 536 mm (plate); 475 x 609 mm (sheet)
- The Charles Deering Collection