page size 18 x 27cms
It may be odd to find such an apparently dry and austere book as this
in this celebration ofthe Narrative. It serves to remind you that there
can be fascination in the inexpressive line and mechanical shading - in
places there is a dogged surrealism in the enormous means to communicate
very little. There is elaborate care taken to depict meaningless lumps.
There is mysterious depiction of terminal herms with lugubrious genitalia.
I am very fond of this book and it has many hundreds of plates. I have
selected a few to sum up my case.
The scans are from Volume 3 of this extraordinary production, with over
270 plates, mostly full page, dedicated to the dogged transcription of
Roman inscriptions. The terminal herm is amusing enough, but a fragment
of a terminal herm as above, is, well, phenomenal.
Piranesi and the Fragment