Plate 11 from Carceri d'Invenzione

The Arch with the Shell Ornament, c. 1761


The Martha T. Wallace Memorial Fund, 1930expand_more  P.11,335

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If the Prisons recall The Phantom of the Opera, it is due to the sublime wonder that overwhelmed Piranesi as he explored the enormous sewers of ancient Rome and to the wonder that later stage designers experienced when exploring and mining Piranesi’s works. They found inspiration in the emotional content of his architecture, its three-dimensional effect, and its complex lighting arrangements.

The Arch with the Shell Ornament
Artist Life
Italian, 1720–1778
Accession Number
Erbach-Erbach family, Schloss Erbach Hofbibliothek, Erbach (Odenwald), Germany. F. H. Bresler Gallery, Milwaukee, Wisc.
Catalogue Raisonne
Hind prisons 11 ii/iii, F.34, Robison 37 vi/vii
Curator Approved

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Plate 11 from Carceri d'Invenzione