About the Karlsruhe Piranesi Albums

About the Karlsruhe Piranesi Albums

A Short Introduction

Irene Brückle, Georg Kabierske, Bénédicte Maronnie, Astrid Reuter, Dorit Schäfer

The 2014 reattribution[1] to Giovanni Battista Piranesi and his workshop of the drawings preserved in two albums from the estate of the Baden architect Friedrich Weinbrenner (1766–1826) has led to a fundamental change of perspective on Piranesi’s oeuvre. The drawings can be dated to Piranesi’s period of activity in Rome from the 1750s onwards. In total, the albums contain 298 sheets, some of which have works on both sides, 297 of which have drawings on what is now their front side and one sheet is a print. At least 43 of the sheets are inscribed, printed, or labeled on the back.The two landscape-format volumes measure approximately 48.5 x 59.5 cm and come from the estate of Friedrich Weinbrenner, who presumably acquired them in Rome in the 1790s. After Weinbrenner's death, they passed to the Baden court - presumably as part of Weinbrenner's estate auction in Karlsruhe on 8 July 1826 - together with a large number of his own travel drawings and architectural plans. From there, according to the inventory book, they went to the then Großherzogliche Kunsthalle in 1861 and are now kept in the Kupferstichkabinett of the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe.


1. Georg Kabierske, “A Cache of Newly Identified Drawings by Piranesi and His Studio at the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe”, Master Drawings 53 (2015): 147–178. 


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