Architecture as a drug. G.B. Piranesi

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Without a doubt, Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778) is one of the most enigmatic artistic personalities that the 18th century has produced. Obsessed by a burning zeal for architecture, he piled palaces on bridges, obelisks on temples, he descended into the underworlds of Rome, but at the same time also into the heights of the sky above the mountains of buildings that he dreamed up in ever new visions. He built all this, of course, not in stone, but in the form of etchings, brilliant copperplate engravings and hasty drawings, i.e. exclusively on paper, the actual building site of his inexhaustible imagination. His oeuvre and person are thus still the most exciting objects of study that one can imagine as an architect. The aim of this compact seminar is to investigate the preconditions, contexts and meanings of the most famous graphic series of this exceptional artist, the world-famous so-called "Carceri". Our immersion in the world of architectural representation of the 18th century will be enhanced once again by the fact that the course will take place in the Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum, Aachen. This means that you will be confronted with original architectural paintings, and you will be allowed to browse through Piranesi's "Carceri" in the graphic cabinet with your own hands and gloves, but above all you will be able to study them at close quarters.

As a certificate of achievement, you will write a short paper about the aspect of the seminar that fascinated you the most.



Cultural and Historical Basics III (2011 PO)
B.Sc. // 6th semester


On fridays, 14.04., 21.04., 28.04., 05.05., 12.05., 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Start: April 14, 2023
SLM, Aachen

Accompanying Content

You can download the corresponding lecture content for follow-up purposes on RWTHMoodle.