Chrysler Museum of Art Acquires Le Antichita Romane Etchings

The Chrysler Museum of Art’s world-class collection is embellished with the purchase of Le Antichità Romane, a four-volume set of 250 etchings. The purchase decision was made during the Mowbray Arch Society’s annual Art Purchase Dinner.

The four volumes measure 20 ⅝ by 15 ¾ and are filled with double- and triple-plate etchings by Giovanni Battista Piranesi, an Italian artist who lived from 1720 to 1788. The leather-bound volumes were published in 1784. Piranesi is one of the most famous architectural artists. He studied architecture and practiced before turning his attention to art. He combined his knowledge of architecture with a passion for Roman ruins to create thousands of engravings and etchings. The etchings and engravings in Le Antichità Romane (Ancient Rome) are renderings of buildings, ornaments and statues that capture the true essence of Rome at that time.

“There were four works of art under consideration this year,” says William Hennessey, Museum director. “Each piece is showcased to the group, and the merits are discussed in what tends to become a competitive presentation between the curators. The decision among four wonderful objects is never an easy one for Society members, but we could not be more pleased with this year’s selection. The Piranesi prints are an important addition to the Museum collection.”

The Mowbray Arch Society is an elite group of Museum Members interested in learning about the Chrysler Museum of Art’s remarkable collection and in promoting its growth. Each December, the group assembles to review works of art to purchase through their generous donations. MAS Members also enjoy lectures by collectors and art experts, gallery talks, and art trips.
The Chrysler Museum of Art is one of America’s most distinguished mid-sized art museums with a world-class collection of more than 30,000 objects, including one of the great glass collections in America. The Museum is located at 245 West Olney Road in Norfolk, and is open Wednesdays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Thursdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sundays, noon-5 p.m. The Chrysler is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, as well as on major holidays. Admission to the Museum’s collection is free. Special exhibitions may have an admission fee. For exhibitions, programming and special events, visit chrysler.org or call (757) 664-6200.

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