|To benefit Sir John Soane's Museum in London, Special-edition of Piranesi drawings, now live on iGavel|
NEW YORK, NY.- iGavel is offering a rare opportunity to view and purchase—now to March 31, 2015—special-edition reproductions of 15 Piranesi drawings of the Temple at Paestum from the collection of the Sir John Soane’s Museum in London. This singular set of reproductions, which will be sold in 5 lots, was produced by Britain’s National Gallery on behalf of the Soane, with all proceeds benefiting this prestigious museum.
Says Lark Mason, president and founder of iGavel: “There is no other museum in the world like the idiosyncratic one Sir John Soane created in the early 19th century. He took infinite pride in having acquired the Piranesi drawings of Paestum. I want to thank Jonathan Burden for selecting iGavel to auction the 15 exact reproductions of the drawings, and I take pleasure in the fact that their sale will benefit Sir John Soane’s Museum.”
“The Paestum drawings by Piranesi formed a key element of Soane’s famed Picture Room, and they also reflect the important influence that Piranesi had on Soane as a collector and as an architect,” says Abraham Thomas, the director of the Soane. “This auction is a wonderful opportunity to acquire Piranesi’s exquisite drawings and bring a bit of Soane’s signature into the home at accessible prices.”
As an official licensee of Sir John Soane’s Museum, Jonathan Burden has the exclusive privilege to manufacture the Model Room Stands, which are part of the Jonathan Burden “Inspired by Soane” line. Says proprietor Jonathan Burden, “When we heard about the exhibition of the Soane’s Piranesi prints at the Morgan Library, we approached the Soane to see if we could do something in conjunction with it. That’s when this unique set of drawings was offered to us to sell, and we hope a designer or collector will seize this rare opportunity to acquire this outstanding collection of Piranesi drawings and at the same time help the Soane.” According to Burden, the drawings’ estimates range from $1,000 to $8,000, depending upon the lot.
When the Picture Room was rehung to Soane’s original arrangement in 2012, it became apparent that the majority of Piranesi’s Paestum drawings and the three drawings by Francesco Galli Bibiena were hung too high and close to the skylights, which exposed them to the possible effects of light damage. Therefore, it was decided to replace them with facsimiles on fine art paper made by the well-known German firm Hahnemühle. One set was produced to hang on permanent display at the museum. The other set is being sold through this special auction. The production of the special set being auctioned was made possible by the generous contribution of Niall Hobhouse, a former trustee of the museum.
Among the most significant examples of European graphic art, the 15 drawings of Paestum were part of Piranesi’s last great visual project, Différentes vues de Pesto, published in 1778. The drawings show views of the three outstanding Doric temples in the former Greek colony of Paestum in Italy, dramatically perched on a plateau not far from the coast of the Gulf of Salerno. Piranesi visited the site in 1777 and produced the 15 drawings. Extremely accomplished examples of his topographical observation, these powerful drawings revolutionized the understanding of early Greek Classical architecture. The original drawings are now on view at New York’s Morgan Library through May 17 in the exhibition Piraniesi and the Temples of Paestum: Drawings from Sir John Soane’s Museum.