Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My Piranesi

When I was growing up at 84 McClellan Street, this image stood at the top of our stairs:

It is an image of a portion of the Acqua Vergine aqueduct, portrayed by Piranesi.

I saw it every day, several times, heading up and down the stairs.  It was background to my life.  I never knew what it was, although later I know that my father said it was a Piranesi.  But when I asked recently about when and where he got it (sometime in the 1950s), he thought it was one of Piranesi's fantastical prisons.  It is, in fact, a real work of engineering and architecture, a portion of which still exists.  I intend to go to the remaining piece, which is apparently in the courtyard at Via Nazareno, 14, and fed the Trevi Fountain.

It was an indelible image for me, one of the first images of architecture I remember.  It now sits above  my desk, which, of course, is my father's old desk.

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