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Today’s How to is all about How to appreciate Giovanni Battista Piranesi. Say that three times fast. Piranesi lived from 1720 to 1778. he studied architecture but focused much of his life on creating works of art. He is famous among architects for making some of the most compelling etchings of all time. Heres why By the way, an etching is different than a simple drawing done on a piece of paper. An etching is done on a piece of metal, glass or stone, whereby the surface is covered with a protective coating, the coating is carved away with a cutting tool or needle. The entire finished piece is then bathed in acid which in turn burns away the exposed material, leaving an etching. Many prints can then be made from this one piece of material. Piranesi did etchings of both real subjects and ones he created. His work is interesting because its so captivating. Particularly the 16 views of a subterranean prison he made. His work has influenced movements in art and the way architects and artists think about space, particularly in the prison sequence where the spaces are layered one on top of the other. You actually feel like your inside the image. The lighting is dramatic and ominous. The stone forms are overwhelming. The mood is foreboding. The etchings are rich with the imagery of time and nature devouring the subjects. The drawings are inspiring precisely because they are rich with imagination. And that brings us to the idea for the day. Imagination. Albert Einstein said, Imagination is more important than knowledge. In other words, you can be really smart, but its being creative with what you know that can make a big difference. Essentially Piranesi new how to draw but his imagination took his work to a whole new level and inspired generations to do the same. imagination. you may not have a lot. but use what you got. Piranesi did.