On Piranesi (in Ghent)

January 9, 2009

MSK/ Museum of Fine Arts

Citadelpark, Gent

Organized by the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning of Ghent University & GUST (Ghent Urban Studies Team), in cooperation with MSK Gent.

The Museum of Fine Arts of Ghent (MSK Gent) currently presents a major exhibition of the graphic work of Giambattista Piranesi (1720-1774): Piranesi. The Print Collection of Ghent University. (20/09/2008-18/01/2009).

The exhibition follows Piranesi's activities as an artist, archaeologist, polemicist, visionary architect and antique dealer, and situates his Vedute di Roma in the traditions of the Roman cityscape and of the archaeological illustration.

The exhibition is composed and realized by a research team of the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning of Ghent University. Curators: Maarten Delbeke, Dirk De Meyer, Bart Verschaffel, Sarah Schouwers (coordinator); exhibition architects: Guy Châtel & Kris Coremans; graphic designer: Bas Rogiers.

The Department of Architecture and Urban Planning of Ghent University and the Ghent Urban Studies Team (GUST) organize a symposium 'On Piranesi' and on the findings of the research done for this exhibition: On Piranesi (in Ghent).

The symposium will be held in English. The speakers include: Mario Bevilacqua (Università di Firenze), Sigrid De Jong (Leiden University), Maarten Delbeke (UGent & Leiden University), Dirk De Meyer (UGent), Steven Jacobs (St-Lukas Brussel & Universiteit Antwerpen), Lola Kantor-Kazosky (University of Jeruzalem), Bart Verschaffel (UGent).

For registration, please contact , coordinator UGent, fax: +32 9 264 41 85. Registration by e-mail or fax before January 5th (museum entrance fee included): €10 to be paid at the museum desk. Registration on January 9th: €15.


10.15: Introduction: Piranesi in Ghent

10.30-11.15: Dirk De Meyer, Archeology and Invention

11.15-12.00: Maarten Delbeke, Architecture as an enigmatic expression in Piranesi and predecessors

12.15-13.00: Lola Kantor-Kazovsky, Annio da Viterbo's Myth of the Etruscans and its Influence on Architecture


14.00-14.45: Mario Bevilacqua, Piranesi. New Evidence from the Modena Sketchbooks

14.45-15.30: Sigrid De Jong, Piranesi, Paestum and Primitivism


15.45-16.30: Bart Verschaffel, 'Panic Space'. The function of the 'staffage' in Piranesi's vedute

16.30-17.15: Steven Jacobs, Eisenstein's Piranesi and Cinematic Space



Mario Bevilacqua is Associate Professor at the Dipartimento di Storia dell'architettura e della città, Università de Firenze and researcher at the Centro di Studi sulla Cultura e l'Immagine di Roma, Accademia nazionale dei Lincei, Roma.


Sigrid de Jong is a PhD-researcher and lecturer at Leiden University, The Netherlands. Her thesis focuses on Paestum in Eighteenth Century Architectural Thought. She obtained a Master's degree in Art and Architectural History at the University of Amsterdam in 1997. She has worked as a curator at the Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam. For her research on Paestum, she was awarded research grants by the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art in London and by the Institut d'Histoire de l'Art in Paris.


Maarten Delbeke (UGent & Leiden University) teaches architectural history and theory at the universities of Ghent and Leiden, and is a post-doctoral researcher with the FWO. He has published on early modern architecture, sculpture and theory, as the co-editor of Bernini's Biographies. Critical Essays, among others, and on contemporary architecture as well.


Dirk De Meyer (UGent) teaches architectural history at Ghent University. His research focuses on the architecture of the 17th and 18th century. His publications include Johann Santini Aichel: Architectuur en ambiguiteit, Eindhoven, 1997, 2 vol. 576 pp; 'Writing Architectural History and Building a Czechoslovak Nation', 1887-1918, in: Wolf Tegethoff, ed., Nation, Style, Modernism, 2006. He was 'chief curator' of the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal, and curator of exhibitions such as Opus Italicum: Italian Renaissance and Baroque Architects in Prague (2000-2001).


Steven Jacobs is an art historian (PhD) specialized in the photographic and cinematic representations of architecture, cities, and landscapes. In 2007 he published The Wrong House: The Architecture of Alfred Hitchcock (010 Publishers, Rotterdam). He has taught at several universities and art schools in Belgium and the Netherlands. He currently teaches film history at the Hogeschool Sint-Lukas Brussels, the Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent, and the University of Antwerp.


Lola Kantor-Kazovsky studied with the late Professor Moshe Barash, published in Apollo, Memoirs of American Academy in Rome, Jewish Art, Ars Judaica; she is author of Piranesi as Interpreter of Roman Architecture and the Origins of His Intellectual World (2006). Lola Kantor-Kazovsky is a lecturer in art history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.


Bart Verschaffel is full professor of Theory of Architecture and Architectural Criticism at Ghent University. He has numerous publications in the field of Architectural Theory, Theory of History, Aesthetics, and Philosophy of Culture, such as: Architecture is (as) a gesture (2001), A propos de Balthus (2004); Van Hermes en Hestia. Teksten over architectuur (2006); Essais sur les genres en peinture. Nature morte, portrait, paysage (2007).


Exhibition and publication

An exhibition catalogue is published by A&S/books: www.AandSbooks.ugent.be/new_titles.aspx

Visitor information for the exhibition: www.mskgent.be

For a preview of the exhibition: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ugentvas/sets/72157607661029352/show