It is tormenting that the show of Piranesi drawings at the British Museum should have closed, along with all London’s museums and galleries, soon after it opened, due to coronavirus restrictions. But it is not wholly inappropriate. There is an excellent catalogue, so his great topographical studies can still transport us, as did the engravings that he sold to milordi on the Grand Tour, to Rome. And since Piranesi was an artist of fantasy, it’s...


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