This antique framed etching of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, by Guiseppi Vasi. The full title of this etching is St Peter's Basilica, Vatican, etching by Giuseppe Vasi, from Delle magnificenze di Roma antica e moderna, libro terzo, Le basiliche e chiese antiche di Roma (The Magnificence of Ancient and Modern Rome, volume III, The Basilicas and Ancient Churches of Rome), 1753. This particular etching represented here was designed and engraved in 1753, but this piece shows a date of 1774, as indicated by the writing below the main image, and appears to have been later made for a special presentation. The etching is framed in a silver and black painted wood frame measuring 45.5"W x 33"H and 1.25"D.
Guiseppe Vasi (1710 - 1782) was an Italian artist and Engraver in Rome, Italy. Vasi started to work as an engraver in the Calcografia Camerale, the main public institution of Rome devoted to engraving and etching, founded some years before by Pope Clement XII. His views for the Calcografia include panoramas of the Trevi Fountain and of the Spanish Steps.
Later on Vasi started to work on his own, producing and selling series of his views to a public made principally of grand tourists. In these years Vasi also hosted in his workshop for a limited period of time the young Giovanni Battista Piranesi, his major pupil, who shaped here his technique as an engraver.
There is some surface wear to the frame as well as small losses. The age of the frame is unknown, though the glass does appear to be modern. The frame includes a hanging wire installed on the back.