Emanuel von Baeyer

The Giant Wheel, 1749

Giovanni Battista Piranesi
1720 Mogliano Veneto – 1778 Rome

Etching with engraving. Size of sheet: 55.5  ×  41 cm.


Hind 9;
Robison 35 II./VII.;
John Wilton Ely 34.



Kornfeld und Klipstein, Berne, 11 June 1976, auction 158, lot 170, “Prachtvoller Frühdruck”.

A very rich impression with considerable plate tone, especially in the corners of the plate. Irregular small margins around the plate. Old small tear (15 mm) in the top left border of the sheet.

The earliest known published state of the very first edition (first and second issue), 1749–ca. 1758. Before the removal of the diagonal scratch through the cloud. According to Robison (1985), only one impression is known of the very first state without the signature. The rough and fresh printing suggests a very early pull from plate nine of fourteen of the set Invenzioni Capric di Carceri, from the first issue.

Our impression closely matches the richness of the impression in the first edition, first issue, as well as of that of the first edition, second issue at the National Gallery of Art in Washington (1976.35.7 / 1946.21.394).

So fine, very rare.

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