In the second half of the 18th century, the rise of theoretical neoclassicism led to the rediscovery of the study of antiquity and classical monuments. In the exhibition are almost two hundred etchings and burin and drypoint engravings of rare beauty, with wash prints, lithographs and chromolithographs; coins, medals and some archaeological finds.
It opens with some ten engravings from the Monumenti antichi inediti of 1767, the collections of folio volumes, including some engravings ofrom the first edition of Le carceri by Gian Battista Piranesi, the Lapides Capitolini with the Antichità di Cora e Castello dell’Acqua Giulia (1762), and the engravings made by his son Francesco, which portray the first discoveries of Pompeii (1789); works by Luigi Rossini with the frontispiece of the Frontespizio delle Antichità di Roma divise in 40 vedute, the Raccolta di cinquanta principali vedute di antichità (1818-1819), Le Antichità romane… (1823-1929), as well as some panoramic views by Chapuy and a rare selection of views of European cities included in the broader 19th-century itinerary.
The exhibition benefits from its synergy with the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli (MANN), the Biblioteca dell’Accademia di Architettura USI in Mendrisio, the Raccolta Fondo Giorgio Ghiringhelli of the Biblioteca Cantonale di Lugano, the association Avvenire dell’Antico (AdA) and an extensive network of private collectors.
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