Le Solennità lugubri e liete in nome della Fedelissima Sicilia nella felice e primaia città di Palermo...per la morte di Filippo Quarto il Grande e le festose acclamationi della Maestà di Carlo Sercondo, figlio, & herede... (Bound with:) Lubrani, Giacomo. L'Anfiteatro della Costanza vittoriosa. Oratione funerale...per le solenni essequie...
Palermo: Andrea Colicchi, 1666.
Quarto: 2 works in one volume. 29.5 x 20.5 cm. pp. (52), 44; 50, (2 blanks); 544 (for the three parts of the first work); pp. 48 (for the second). Collation: I. (Le Solennità) a-b4, c-l2, A-D4, F2; A-F4, G2 (G2 blank); A-Z4, Aa-Zz4, Aaa-Yyy4. II. (L’anfiteatro) A-F4
SOLE EDITION of one of the most beautiful and rarest illustrated Sicilian books of the 17th c. Sicily.
Extremely rare (1 copy in North America, at NYPL). "The book celebrates one of the most memorable funeral ceremonies of the seventeenth century.”(M. C. Ruggieri Tricoli, "Funeral Teatro") Bound in contemporary vellum (slight soiling, little chips to vellum at head and foot of spine.), title on spine. An extremely fine copy with broad margins and all of the magnificent Baroque plates: Etched title, etched armorial plate, 5 large folding etchings of the funeral procession, the church, and the catafalque. Large woodcut device on leaf f2r; woodcut royal arms on 2nd title page.
Etched title discreetly re-margined at foot and in gutter, small hole to blank margin. Short tear in margin of first plate, one fold of the same plate reinforced on blank verso, tiny hold at fold, (affecting the image but without loss). Tiny tear in inner margin of plate 4 (no loss); two tears to plate 5 (no loss); Oo2 and 4 with small stains, Kkk3 with natural paper flaw in margin (not affecting the text). Contemporary manuscript corrections throughout the 2nd work (the funeral oration). Early and small private library stamp (“Bib. Dr. Alio”) on title and on the second plate. Gouray sale, “Splendid Ceremonies”, Part II, Lot 326 (Christie’s, 12 June 2009)
An account of the ceremonies, performed in Palermo, occasioned by the death of King Philip IV of Spain and Portugal (1605- d. 17 Sept 1665). Mourning ceremonies were held for the monarch throughout Spain’s dominions. The author of this account, the Theatine priest Girolamo Matranga (Palermo 1625-1679) was a feared “consultor” of the Holy Office of the Inquisition for 40 years (another of his writings concerns granting the Palermo police authority to capture fugitives in places of worship during the Palermo revolt of 1647.) The architect of the décor for these ceremonies was Paolo Amato (1634-1714), the most celebrated Sicilian architect of the period (known also as the author of the Nuova prattica de prospettiva) (see the "Funeral Teatro" by M. C. Ruggieri Tricoli). The fine etched plates, are also by Amato. The second work contains the funeral oration of Father G. Lubrani (1619-1693).
Matranga’s work, in three-parts, amply describes the public mourning at the news of the death of King Philip IV (1605-1665), the festive acclamation for his son and heir Charles II (1661-1700), the public ceremonies, the architectural apparatus, and the solemn funeral ceremonies. The book is magnificently illustrated by 7 plates drawn and engraved by Amato, some of which are folded several times. These comprise: 1. a frontispiece with two large allegorical figures in flight, holding instruments and supporting the coat of arms of Sicily; 2. the coat of arms of Francesco Gaetani, "duke of Sermoneta, and of San Marco..."; 3. a large folding scene (510 x 380 mm) depicting the mounted funeral procession to the Cathedral, with carriages, knights, pages, halberdiers, etc.; 4. the façade of the Palermo cathedral; 5. the interior façade of the cathedral, richly decorated for the funeral; 6. the sixth plate, the largest of them all (960 x 385 mm) reproduces the interior décor lining the nave (statuary, rich draperies, tapers, etc.); 7. the last plate, also very large (770 x 510 mm) shows the sumptuous Baroque architecture of the mausoleum, richly decorated with statues of kings and warriors, with the royal catafalque below.
For a lengthy description of the funeral monument, its materials, décor and symbolism, see Pablo González Tornel, “‘Grande quien llora e inmortal quien muere’, Entre Italia y América: los catafalcos por la muerte de Felipe iv en los dominios de los Habsburgo españoles.”, p. 221-225 in SEMATA, Ciencias Sociais e Humanidades, 2012, vol. 24: 213-234.
Mira, Bib. siciliana II, 53. Moncada n.1395. Narbone I, 376. Michel-Michel V, 147; Palau y Dulcet (2nd ed.) 158373; Gouray sale, “Splendid Ceremonies”, Part II, Lot 326 (Christie’s, 12 June 2009)