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Francesco Piranesi

1756 Rome – 1810 Paris

Francesco Piranesi enjoyed a great renown on account of his family background and his contacts with Rome’s artistic community. As heir and successor to his father Giovanni Battista, who had died in 1778, he kept up the studio and issued new editions of his famous graphic cycles. Francesco Piranesi’s career was one of shifting fortunes. He sympathized with the French Revolution and was Commandant of the Republican National Guard in Rome. In this capacity he was involved in clashes with Neapolitan troops and had to flee Italy under somewhat hazardous circumstances in 1799. Piranesi settled with his brother Piero in Paris where he continued his publishing activities under difficult conditions. He died in poverty in 1810 after his last project, the founding of a terracotta factory, had failed for lack of funds.