Veduta di Piazza di Spagna, from Vedute di Roma (Views of Rome)
16 1/4 x 23 3/4 in. (41.3 x 60.3 cm)
Giovanni Battista Piranesi,
Medium and Support:
The Piazza di Spagna is at the base of the Spanish steps, leading up to a steep slope to the church of Trinità dei Monti that was under the patronage of the Bourbon kings of France. At the base of the stair is a fountain in the shape of a little boat, the Fontana della Barcaccia, designed by Pietro Bernini and his son Gian Lorenzo Bernini. In 1588, Rome was flooded when the Tiber burst its banks. When the waters subsided, a small flat-bottomed boat used to rescue people and move possessions was left stranded in the mud. The boat became a symbol of Roman efforts to survive the floods.