Piranesi and the Modern Age by Victor Plahte Tschudi

Victor Plahte Tschudi’s generously illustrated study explores Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s darkly fascinating 18th century etchings of prison interiors and crumbling ruins—as well as the “complex appropriation and continual rediscoveries by modern literature, photography, art, film, and architecture.”

The etchings of the Italian printmaker, architect, and antiquarian Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–78) have long mesmerized viewers. But, as Victor Plahte Tschudi shows, artists and writers of the modern era found in these works—Piranesi's visions of contradictory space, endless vistas, and self-perpetuating architecture—a formulation of the modern. In Piranesi and the Modern Age, Tschudi explores the complex appropriation and continual rediscoveries of Piranesi by modern literature, photography, art, film, and architecture. Tracing the ways that the modern age constructed itself and its origin through Piranesi across genres, he shows, for example, how Piranesi's work formulates the ideas of “contrast” in photography, “abstraction” in painting and “montage” in cinema.

2022; hardcover; 8 x 10 inches; 288 pages, 81 color illustrations, 25 b&w illustrations; ISBN: 9780262047173.