Item #4652 Discorsi Sopra L'Antichità Di Roma Di Vicenzo Scamozzi Architetto Vicentino Con XL. Tavole in Rame. Vincenzo Scamozzi.
Discorsi Sopra L'Antichità Di Roma Di Vicenzo Scamozzi Architetto Vicentino Con XL. Tavole in Rame.
Discorsi Sopra L'Antichità Di Roma Di Vicenzo Scamozzi Architetto Vicentino Con XL. Tavole in Rame.
Discorsi Sopra L'Antichità Di Roma Di Vicenzo Scamozzi Architetto Vicentino Con XL. Tavole in Rame.
Discorsi Sopra L'Antichità Di Roma Di Vicenzo Scamozzi Architetto Vicentino Con XL. Tavole in Rame.
Discorsi Sopra L'Antichità Di Roma Di Vicenzo Scamozzi Architetto Vicentino Con XL. Tavole in Rame.
Discorsi Sopra L'Antichità Di Roma Di Vicenzo Scamozzi Architetto Vicentino Con XL. Tavole in Rame.
Discorsi Sopra L'Antichità Di Roma Di Vicenzo Scamozzi Architetto Vicentino Con XL. Tavole in Rame.
Discorsi Sopra L'Antichità Di Roma Di Vicenzo Scamozzi Architetto Vicentino Con XL. Tavole in Rame.
Discorsi Sopra L'Antichità Di Roma Di Vicenzo Scamozzi Architetto Vicentino Con XL. Tavole in Rame.
Discorsi Sopra L'Antichità Di Roma Di Vicenzo Scamozzi Architetto Vicentino Con XL. Tavole in Rame.
Discorsi Sopra L'Antichità Di Roma Di Vicenzo Scamozzi Architetto Vicentino Con XL. Tavole in Rame.
Discorsi Sopra L'Antichità Di Roma Di Vicenzo Scamozzi Architetto Vicentino Con XL. Tavole in Rame.
Discorsi Sopra L'Antichità Di Roma Di Vicenzo Scamozzi Architetto Vicentino Con XL. Tavole in Rame.
Discorsi Sopra L'Antichità Di Roma Di Vicenzo Scamozzi Architetto Vicentino Con XL. Tavole in Rame.
Discorsi Sopra L'Antichità Di Roma Di Vicenzo Scamozzi Architetto Vicentino Con XL. Tavole in Rame.
Discorsi Sopra L'Antichità Di Roma Di Vicenzo Scamozzi Architetto Vicentino Con XL. Tavole in Rame.
Discorsi Sopra L'Antichità Di Roma Di Vicenzo Scamozzi Architetto Vicentino Con XL. Tavole in Rame.
Discorsi Sopra L'Antichità Di Roma Di Vicenzo Scamozzi Architetto Vicentino Con XL. Tavole in Rame.
Discorsi Sopra L'Antichità Di Roma Di Vicenzo Scamozzi Architetto Vicentino Con XL. Tavole in Rame.
Discorsi Sopra L'Antichità Di Roma Di Vicenzo Scamozzi Architetto Vicentino Con XL. Tavole in Rame.
Discorsi Sopra L'Antichità Di Roma Di Vicenzo Scamozzi Architetto Vicentino Con XL. Tavole in Rame.
Discorsi Sopra L'Antichità Di Roma Di Vicenzo Scamozzi Architetto Vicentino Con XL. Tavole in Rame.
Discorsi Sopra L'Antichità Di Roma Di Vicenzo Scamozzi Architetto Vicentino Con XL. Tavole in Rame.
Discorsi Sopra L'Antichità Di Roma Di Vicenzo Scamozzi Architetto Vicentino Con XL. Tavole in Rame.
Discorsi Sopra L'Antichità Di Roma Di Vicenzo Scamozzi Architetto Vicentino Con XL. Tavole in Rame.
Discorsi Sopra L'Antichità Di Roma Di Vicenzo Scamozzi Architetto Vicentino Con XL. Tavole in Rame.

Discorsi Sopra L'Antichità Di Roma Di Vicenzo Scamozzi Architetto Vicentino Con XL. Tavole in Rame.

Venice: Appresso Francesco Ziletti [for Girolamo Porro], 1582.

Price: $65,000.00

Folio: 27.3 x 21.1 cm. [36] p. 40 double-paged plates with text printed on the versos, [1] p. Collation: †2 (etched t.p. with verso blank, 2 p. dedication), A8 (table of monuments), B8 (text), [1]-[40] (the plates, with printed text on versos), [ π]1 (1 p. errata).

FIRST EDITION, SECOND ISSUE. Edited by Girolamo Porro. With a dedication by Porro to Giacomo Contarini dated Nov. 20, 1581. The 40 double-page etched plates of monuments are by Giovanni Battista Pittoni (1520-1583). Extremely rare, especially the first issue, which is recorded in one copy, at Cambridge Univ. Library.

A fine, fresh copy, bound in contemporary limp vellum, spine with discreet restoration. Printed on heavy paper. This copy is complete with the final errata leaf, lacking in many copies. The text and plates are in excellent condition. The etched and engraved title page depicts Roman ruins seen through an elaborate arch with Corinthian columns, segmented pediment, flanking allegorical personifications, interpreted as geometry (or architectural theory) and (practical) architecture, and Ziletti’s printer’s device below. Illustrated with 40 double-page plates of Roman architectural monuments, 39 of which are etched and 1 (plate 8) is engraved. The versos of the plates are printed with explanatory text. Plates 1-7, 9-39 are signed by Giovanni Battista Pittoni as engraver. Plate 3 is monogrammed “GPM”. The title and plates 8 and 40 are unsigned. Pittoni’s plates were first published (with no text) in his “Praecipua aliquot Romanae antiquitatis ruinarum monimenta” (1561), of which very few copies survive.

First Edition of this important study of the architecture of ancient Rome, written by Palladio’s pupil Vincenzo Scamozzi, one of the most distinguished architectural theorists of the Renaissance. In addition to his theoretical work, Scamozzi also produced a large body of surviving architectural works, including buildings that he completed for Palladio, under whom he trained.

This copy is bound together with two other important 16th c. works illustrating ancient Roman architecture and art: Giovanni Antonio Dosio's series of vedute, "Urbis Romae aedificiorum illustriumquae Supersunt Reliquiae"(Rome: 1569) and Giovanni Battista Cavalieri's engravings of Roman sculpture "Antiquarum statuarum urbis Romae Liber"(ca. 1584). (See further below for descriptions of these two works.)

Scamozzi’s theoretical contributions are on a level of importance with those of Sebastiano Serlio, Palladio, and Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola. He conceived of architecture as an intellectual form and the building as a scientific construct that resides in the mind of the architect.

Scamozzi’s knowledge in the field was vast; in 1615, in his “L’Idea della Architettura Universale”, he cited his predecessors in architectural theory (Filarete, Francesco di Giorgio Martini, Alberti, Serlio, Hans Blum, Philibert de l'Orme, Hans Vredeman de Vries, Jacques Androuet du Cerceau, Vignola, and Palladio), various theorists of art (Durer, Vasari, Lomazzo, and Bertano), as well as the editors of Vitruvius (Fra Giocondo, Cesare Cesariano, Giovanni Battista Caporali, Daniele Bárbaro, Giovanni Antonio Rusconi, and Bernardino Baldi).

“In his old age Scamozzi ‘enjoyed an undisputed international reputation and provided a direct link with Palladio for Bernini’s generation’ (Wittkower 1983, 26) and also connected ‘the Palladian tradition to the greater inventions of his pupil Longhena’(Lewis 1977, 45). Scamozzi had been the student and assistant of Andrea Palladio, many of whose works he completed after 1580, including the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza. He was highly cultivated and well-traveled, spending time in Rome and Naples
between 1578 and 1580, where he excavated, measured and drew architectural ruins and studied mathematics.

I. “Discourses on the Antiquities of Rome”:

“Scamozzi settled in Venice in 1581 and was asked by the publisher Girolamo Porro to compose the text of the present work. His contribution consists of 40 commentaries [printed on the versos of each plate] and three chapters about Roman antiquities [the edifices of ancient Rome and the regions of the city]… The book’s architectural purpose is underlined by [the engraved title], with the presence of the allegorical female figures representing architectural practice and theory: Practice, holding surveying instruments, leaning on the piers of the arch at left, while Theory on the right holds the rule and right angle.”(Martha Pollak, Millard IV, no. 122)

The plates:

The etchings, some of which ultimately derive from drawings made two generations earlier, are an important contribution to the project of documenting the ruined ancient buildings of Rome; they are a visual record of the monuments (some now altered or since vanished) as they stood in the 16th c. Twenty-four of Pittoni’s plates are based on engravings -published at Antwerp in 1551- by the renowned draftsman and engraver Hieronymus Cock (1518-1570), who sojourned at Rome in 1546-7. For his engravings, Cock consulted the invaluable drawings of Maarten van Heemskerck (1498-1574), who spent the 1530s in Rome creating some of the most precise visual records of the ruins produced in that early period.

“Plates i-vii illustrate the temples of the Roman Forum; plates viii-xxiii illustrate whole views and details of the Colosseum; plates xxiv-xxv show the [now vanished] Septizonium; plates xxvi-xxx show the Palatine Hill; plates xxxi-xxxiv illustrate the
Antonine and Diocletian baths; plate xxxvi is of the sculptural group the horse-tamers on the Quirinal hill; plates xxxvii-xxxviii are the Tiber island and its bridges; plate xxxix shows the ruins of Pozzuoli [in Naples]; the last plate illustrates vaults.”(Pollack)

Cicognara 656 (this issue); Millard IV, no. 122; Fowler, 291; Mortimer, Italian, 466; Berlin Catalog 1849


II. Dosio’s “The Surviving Remains of Illustrious Roman Edifices”:

Dosio, Giovanni Antonio (1533-1609); Cavalieri, Giovanni Battista (1525-1597), engraver

Urbis Romae aedificiorum illustriumquae Supersunt Reliquiae

[Florence: No place no printer] 1569

Oblong album: 50 plates, numbered 1 to 50 in the plate, comprising an etched title page and 49 etched views.

FIRST EDITION. One of the earliest collection of engraved views of Roman monuments, Dosio’s views provide an excellent record of the buildings of ancient Rome in their Renaissance settings. His detailed drawings were translated into etchings by the celebrated engraver Giovanni Battista Cavalieri (1530-1597). These prints are among Cavalieri’s finest work. Short descriptions in Latin are etched into each of the plates, as captions to the views of the monuments.

A fine, complete set, printed on heavy paper. A few plates with small stains, plate 5 shaved at upper margin, just touching the skyline.

“One of the most important of the sixteenth-century collections of views of Rome, being free from the fantastic reconstructions so dear to the archaeologists of the period.” (Fowler)

The first engraving serves as both title page and page and dedication leaf. The dedication to Cosimo de’ Medici is set within a triumphal arch with Egyptianized caryatids and the Medici “palle”. The 49 plates show the magnificent architectural monuments of Rome, many represented within their fifteenth-century context, covered with vegetation, visited by strolling passers-by or drawn by artists. They are shown in their dilapidated grandeur and often with their medieval accretions still attached. Others, such as the Republican temples in the Forum Boarium, the Temple of Venus Genetrix, the Pantheon, the Lateran baptistery, Santa Costanza, and the Baths of Diocletian, are shown architectonically, “con intento puramente descrittivo e documentario” in order to show their structural character.

“Born in San Gimignano in 1533, Giovanni Antonio Dosio moved to Rome in 1548. He assisted in the excavations of SS. Cosma and Damiano in the Forum Romanum, where he uncovered the 3rd century Marble Plan (Forma Urbis Romae). In 1569 he published his “Urbis Romae Aedificiorum illustrium quae supersunt Reliquiae”. Beginning in 1560, in preparation for this work, Dosio made more than 110 drawings of ancient sculpture, architectonic studies, and views of monuments. 28 of these have survived, of which 14 are in the Kupferstich-kabinett in Berlin; the other 14 are in the Uffizi…

“Dosio’s drawings distinguish themselves from others not only because they constitute a documentary record of the iconography of ancient Rome, but also because they possess something of a poetic spirit that elevates them to the level of true art… They have the same power of expression and the same expressive ‘color’ of the great paintings of the period. (Lukomski, Architettura Classica, p. 412-415)

Cicognara 3704; Brunet I, 1697; Fowler 107; Adams D, 861; Berlin Kat. 1846.


III. Cavalieri’s Roman Statues:

“The Most Extensive Collection of Engravings of Sculpture Published in the 16th Century”-Thomas Ashby

Cavalieri, Giovanni Battista (1525-1597)

Antiquarum statuarum urbis Romae primus et secundus liber. Ludouico Madrucio S.R.E. Card amplissimo dic. Baptista de Caualleriis authore

[Rome:] no printer, no date [ca. 1574-1584]

Quarto: Engraved title page and 100 engraved plates. Complete.

THE FIRST EDITION (1st issue) to include all 100 plates. With Cavalieri’s arms engraved on the verso of the title page. Three extraneous plates are also bound in. Title lightly soiled and outer margin foxed, and with small loss to blank upper and lower outer corners, not affecting the image. Mild soiling to margins of plates, trivial foxing, and scattered light damp-stains in the gutter. Short marginal tear to one plate, not affecting image.

The publishing history: According to Thomas Ashby’s classification of the editions, the first edition of Cavalieri’s book of statues appeared before April 1561. That edition, the “Liber Primus” consisted of only 58 plates, all of which were from original drawings, except for the plates of Pasquino and Marforio, which were copied from Lafrery’s “Speculum”. A second edition appeared in 1561-1562, consisting of an engraved title and only 52 plates. In 1570 the Venetian printer Girolamo Porro made copies of the original plates for his own edition, which he republished in 1576.

Prior to 1584 –and possibly as early as 1574 (the title page is undated)- Cavalieri produced this new edition, comprising two books rather than one, with a total of 100 plates (52 plates in the first book and 48 new plates in the second.) For this edition, the title page was re-cut and the first 25 plates were re-engraved. A second edition with these same 100 plates followed in 1585.

This edition and that of 1585 may be called the definitive editions of these plates. In the edition of 1593 that followed, the first hundred plates were poorly re-engraved and another 100, which brought the work up to four books in total, were also inferior in quality to those in the original sets.

Justly celebrated for his artistic gifts and his talent as an engraver, the success of Giovanni Battista Cavalieri is also attributable in large part to his social connections. Cavalieri moved in a refined cultural sphere populated by fellow artists, humanists, collectors, aristocrats, and patrons, who either resided in Rome or who were drawn into its cultural orbit.

Despite the disastrous Sack of Rome in 1527, the Renaissance fascination with antiquity continued unabated not only among the scholars, artists, and cultural elite, but also among the endless flood of visitors and pilgrims who came to marvel at the wonders of the Eternal City. This fascination led to an ever-increasing demand for graphic representations of ancient Roman sculpture and monuments, whose fragmentary and dilapidated state only amplified the sense of awe experienced by those who saw them.

Following –and undoubtedly influenced by- the engraver/publisher Antoine Lafréry, who came to dominate the market for engraved views in the mid-sixteenth century, Cavalieri developed his own impressive and varied portfolio of engraved subjects: the monuments and statues of antiquity, portraits of the emperors and popes, Counter-Reformation depictions of martyrdoms, and commemorative scenes. His first important project was the production of a series of engravings recording ancient Roman sculpture, the “Antiquarum Statuarum Urbis Romae Libri” (The Ancient Statues of the City of Rome.)

Cavalieri’s book of statues, the “most extensive collection of engravings of sculpture published in the 16th century”, is an invaluable source for our knowledge of ancient sculpture, Renaissance archaeology, and the culture of collecting in the sixteenth-century. Cavalieri’s carefully rendered images preserve information on the way many statues looked prior to alteration or restoration, and help us to identify statues now lost or destroyed. By adding inscriptions at the foot of the engravings that both identify the subject and its location, Cavalieri helps us to reconstruct collections later dispersed, and to gain insight into the Renaissance interpretation of subjects.

Remarkably, Cavalieri enjoyed privileged access to the major sculpture collections of the period: the Belvedere collection of Pope Clement VII, the collection in the Villa of Julius III, the Villa Madama, the collection of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, and the Capitoline collection, the oldest public collection in Rome. The collections of the great families were open to him: Della Valle, Farnese, Borghese, Cevoli, Cesi, Carpi, and others. Without his social connections, there would be no “Book of Statues” or any other in-depth record from this period.

The 17th century witnessed a number of books for which Cavalieri’s original engravings served as inspiration. Some of Cavalieri’s original plates appeared again in the 17th century. In 1613, Nicolas Van Aelst came into possession of 28 plates from Cavalieri’s first edition, including the 25 that had been discarded by Cavalieri for the ca. 1584 edition, and another 3 that were only used in the first edition. The remaining 65 plates from Bks I and II and most of those from Bks III and IV, were in the hands of Giacomo Marcucci in 1623. According to Ashby, “There is no doubt that this division was due to the will of Cavalieri.”(p. 130) Of all of the original plates, only 18 from Bks I and II, and 32 from Bks 3 and 4, are still extant. They are housed in the Regia Calcografia.

Edit16: CNCE 10454.

Cicognara 656 (this issue); Millard IV, no. 122; Fowler, 291; Mortimer, Italian, 466; Berlin Catalog 1849