“Piranesi, Rome, and the Arts of Design” is very much like “The Rocky Horror Show.” Like the musical’s pivotal gender bending mad genius character Frank ‘N’ Furter who continuously alters his persona, Giambattista Piranesi (1720-1778) was also a mad genius who perpetually had to alter his persona from architect to printer and an influential designer of the Rococo and Neoclassical periods to finally become an architectural historian.

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