Before and after Giovanni Piranesi: An exhibition of an 18th-century Italian artist to open in Moscow

Before and after Giovanni Piranesi: An exhibition of an 18th-century Italian artist to open in Moscow
Visitors will see over 100 etchings, as well as engravings and drawings by the artist’s predecessors and followers, and also models, coins, medals and books.

An exhibition, Giovanni Piranesi. Before and After. Italy – Russia. 18th-21st Centuries, will open at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts on 20 September. 

The exhibition is dedicated to the great Italian artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–1778), who was also an etcher, master of drawing, architect, decorator and researcher.

The exhibition is divided into several large sections. Visitors will see over 100 etchings, as well as engravings and drawings by the artist’s predecessors and followers, and also models, coins, medals and books. Other exhibits include cork models from the collection of the Research and Development Museum at the Russian Academy of Arts and graphic pictures from the Giorgio Cini Foundation in Venice, the Shchusev Research and Development Museum of Architecture, the History Museum of the Moscow Architecture School at the Moscow Institute of Architecture (MARKhI), the Russian State Literature and Arts Archive and the Yakov Chernikhov International Architecture Charity.

This will be the first time that Russian connoisseurs will be able to view Piranesi’s copper plates courtesy of the Central Institute of Graphics (Rome Copper Engraving). Overall, about 400 items will be on display.

The exhibition extends far beyond the artist’s creative work. Visitors will learn about Piranesi’s predecessors and teachers, and also artists and architects of the late 18th century and the later period, inclusive of the 21st century, who were influenced by Piranesi.

Piranesi’s creative work inspired architects commissioned by Empress Catherine II, including  Giacomo Quarenghi, Charles Cameron and Vincenzo Brenna; Russian avant-garde masters Ivan Leonidov, Konstantin Melnikov and Yakov Chernikhov; and contemporary artist Valery Koshlyakov, who dedicated his work specially created ahead of the exhibition to Piranesi.