Piranesi, Giovanni Battista (1720-78; Italian)
The Column of Marcus Aurelius 1758 [H.52 IV]
Acquired, 1868
Present location unknown

NGV 1894 and 1905 both list this print as an engraving of the Colonna Antonina, the title reflecting the mistaken older view that the late 2nd-century monument, in Palazzo Colonna, Rome, was erected by Marcus Aurelius’s predecessor Antoninus Pius. The print acquired in 1868 no longer appears to be in the collection, but another impression was purchased in 1965: see reproduction below.

Piranesi produced several other views of this column, notably a similar etching in his Vedute di Roma (c.1748-9: a good impression of this print is also in the NGV); and a detailed engraving, on 6 sheets, dating from the 1770s.

[reproduced below: NGV impression acquired in 1965]


NGV 1894, p.128 (V.Buvelot Gallery, south wall, no.14); NGV 1905, p.152 (V.Buvelot Gallery, south wall, no.23; PR no.330 (1868: acc.no.p.179.4-1)

The reproduction at right shows the impression now in the NGV, purchased in 1965 (for details and ill., see http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/explore/collection/work/24133/); and for the etching from the Vedute di Roma series, purchased in 1928, see also http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/explore/collection/work/37157/ (illustrated)