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The Fireworks Above Castel Sant’Angelo - 1781

Francesco Piranesi (Italian, 1756–1810)

and

Louis-Jean Desprez (French, 1743–died Stockholm 1804)

The Fireworks Above Castel Sant’Angelo

Etching with watercolor and gouache, 1781 or 1783

I love the incredible lengths of detail in this beautiful watercolour.

Notice the horses in the foreground trying to pull away from the no doubt deafening fireworks. Also I really like the spectators on the bridge hanging from the ramparts and obviously enjoying every moment of the display. This is indeed one of those moments and caught beautifully. There is a sense of serenity from the massive billowing plumes of white light capped with coloured stars and it feels as if all the action is on the ground where the people are. Almost like a role reversal where the fireworks which should be the focus of the energy have transferred it all down the way to the river and the viewers. This is one of my favourite pieces of firework inspired artwork. I hope you like it too.

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