PIRANESI CRITICAL ANALYSIS (500 WORDS)
Question : Piranesian Counter-Project
Discuss critically the arguments over the role and value of ornament put forward by the two protagonists in the debate written by Piranesi in his text ‘Thoughts on Architecture’ focusing in particular on Didascalo who takes a position largely in agreement with Piranesi. Make reference to the accompanying etched drawings of polemical designs by Piranesi that also appear in his text ‘Thoughts on Architecture’, particularly the Parere plate. You may also include your own analytical diagrams of one or more of the projects you are discussing. Tafuri discusses the debate in detail. Kostof (p. 558-569) also discusses the broader context of this debate. The required and recommended texts on Closed Reserve will provide useful reference material.
Concepts such as realism, abstraction, romanticism, and neo-classicism, which belong to the world of thinking and interpretation, are a necessity in architecture. The rationalist perspective contests this ideology through two basic positions - its strict principles of rules and regulations along with its critique of the desire for creative freedom. Through the means of ‘Thoughts on Architecture’, Piranesi has employed the character Didascalo to argue for the neo-classicist position in contest against the rationalist position characterised by Protopiro. ‘Thoughts on Architecture’ exposes Protopiro’s argument as entirely contradictory to his own logic and values. “You show me an architect or an admirer of architecture works who does not condemn the use of attributes which do not belong to architecture. There’s something that architecture is contained, ornaments do not belong to architecture”. (Page 3, Thoughts on Architecture). Protopiro assertively claims early in the debate. His purist and conservative views, which condemn and criticise those whom he admires, are revealed as a complete contradiction in his debate with Didascalo.
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