Plate 1 from Carceri d'Invenzione

Title plate from Carceri d'Invenzione, c. 1761


The Martha T. Wallace Memorial Fund, 1930expand_more  P.11,325

Not on Viewexpand_more

In the title inscription, Piranesi explicitly describes the Prisons as fanciful inventions. Their basic elements—stairs, arches, catwalks, and so on—are present here, but this plate is unusual in offering the viewer no point of entry. In the plates to come, stairs and courtyards will guide us into the image.

Title plate from Carceri d'Invenzione
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 01 iii/iv, F.24, Robison 29 viii/ix
Curator Approved

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Plate 1 from Carceri d'Invenzione