Vincent Buonanno, Zoe Langer, Nick De Pace & Anne Proctor

Piranesi art work

"A Conversation on Piranesi"


Wednesday, September 21, 2022 | 6:00PM | ARCH 132 DF Pray Lecture Theatre 

Watch The Zoom Recording

Giovanni Battista Piranesi was an Italian artist famous for his etchings of Rome and of fictitious and atmospheric “prisons” (Le Carceri d’Invenzione). Piranesi was born in Mogliano Veneto, near Treviso, then part of the Republic of Venice, on 4 October 1720 and died in Rome 9 November 1778. He was famous for his popular series of prints, the “Vedute di Roma” (Views of Rome); by the end of his life, he had produced 135 such “views” that celebrated the grandeur of that city and displayed the overlapping nature of its ancient and contemporary cityscapes. 

The talks will address the influence and impact of these prints produced by a man who considered himself an architect first and printmaker second, and they will reflect on the role of drawing and representation in the creative process.
Vincent Buonanno, a trustee emeritus of Brown University, has one of the most important private collections of Piranesi in the US. That collection formed the core of the exhibition “The Theater that was Rome” at the RISD Museum in 2004. 

Zoe Langer completed her Ph.D. in Italian Studies at Brown and is now a Postdoctoral fellow at the Irvin Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections at the University of South Carolina, where she serves as Co-PI for the Digital Piranesi Project. 

Nick De Pace is an architect who has taught at RISD since 1999, including as the Chief Critic of RISD’s European Hon. Program in Rome. De Pace’s interest in Piranesi’s drawings led to a Fulbright Fellowship in 2005 and he continues to work on the subterranean archaeology of Rome. 

Anne E. Proctor serves as Associate Dean for the SHAE and on the RWU Education Advisory Board. Her research focuses on the social and professional networks of artists in early modern Italy. 


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