Piranesi's Grandest Tour: From Europe to Australia
Colin Holden

Hardback | Feb 2014 | NewSouth | 9781742233949 | 224pp | 240x300mm | GEN | AUD$59.99, NZD$69.99

The majestic works of eighteenth-century Italian printmaker Giovanni Battista Piranesi have never ceased to inspire artists, printmakers and architects.

Piranesi is famous for his etchings of real and imaginary buildings – Roman ruins, baroque cityscapes and fantastical prisons. Here, his life and art is reassessed, along with the complex world of his son, Francesco, whose promotion of his father's work was overshadowed by allegations of espionage. The book also reveals the story of the Australian collectors of Piranesi's work and his influence on our artists, from Russell Drysdale to Rick Amor and Marco Luccio.

Colin Holden is a social historian and has curated exhibitions at the National Gallery of Victoria, State Library of Victoria and Geelong Art Gallery. He was awarded a Redmond Barry Fellowship by the State Library of Victoria and the University of Melbourne to research this book and the associated exhibition.

Colin Holden writes about the connection of several Australian artists and some of our major cultural collections that are linked with the works of great eighteenth-century Italian printmaker Giovanni Battista Piranesi in this short extract.