Francesco was the son and pupil of Giovanni Battista (or Giambattista) Piranesi. He was born in Rome in 1756, and his father instructed him in design and architecture. He lived in Paris through the tumultuous years of the French Revolution, and he was much involved with art and sculpture. He is probably best remembered for his elegant engravings of architectural views and classical antique statues. He died in 1810.