The Round Tower, from "Carceri d'invenzione" (Imaginary Prisons)
A veduta, plural vedute, is a highly detailed, usually large-scale painting or, more often print, of a cityscape or some other landscape. The painters of vedute are referred to as vedutisti. Veduta was introduced by northern European artists, most likely Flanders who worked in Italy, such as Paul Brill (1554–1626), a landscape painter who produced a number of marine views and scenes of Rome that were purchased by visitors. Among the most famous of the vedutisti are four Venetians. Canaletto was probably the greatest of the vedutisti, produced Venetian architecture works. Giacomo Guardi (1678–1716), Giannantonio Guardi (1699–1760), and Francesco Guardi (1712–93), also produced a great number of views of Venice. Giovanni Pannini (c. 1691–1765/68) was the first artist to concentrate on painting ruins.
Giovanni Battista Piranesi, famous for his etchings of Rome and of fictitious and atmospheric "prisons" (Le Carceri d'Invenzione), was born in Veneto, the Republic of Venice in a family of stonemasons and architects. He was apprenticed of his uncle, who was a leading architect in Magistrato delle Acque, the state organization responsible for engineering and restoring historical buildings. From 1740, he worked in Rome as a draughtsman for Marco Foscarini, the Venetian ambassador. He worked with pupils of the French Academy in Rome to produce a series of vedute (views) of the city. From 1743 to 1747 he was back in Venice where he often visited Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. In 1748–1774, back in Rome, he created a series of vedute of the city which established his fame. In 1761 he became a member of the Accademia di San Luca and opened a printing facility of his own. He died in Rome in 1778, and was buried in the church he had helped restore, Santa Maria del Priorato. His tomb was designed by Giuseppi Angelini.