Galeriae Farnesianae Icones Romae in aedibus Sereniss. Ducis Parmensis ab Annibale Carracio ad veterum aemulatione posterumq. admiratione coloribus expressae cum ipsarum monocromatibus et ornamentis a Petro Aquila delineatae incisae

AQUILA Pietro ([c.1675].)


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[4 (title page; dedicatory plate to the Bishop of Tarso; frontispiece; Carracci's funeral monument)], 21 plates, all d.p. except 11 & 13, mounted on guards (title a little dusty, sporadic spotting, stronger on pl.21, faint waterstaining to upper fore-edge, not touching plates).  

Rome: Giovanni Giacomo de Rossi, [c.1674]. 

(with:) Deorum Concilium in Pincis Burghesianis hortis ab Ioanne Lanfranco Parmensi tum spirantibus ad vivum imaginibus tum monocromatibus atque ornamentis mira pingendi arte expressum, a Petro Aquila ad similitudinem delineatum et incisum expressum.

[1(title page)], 8 d.p. plates, numbered 2-9 in manuscript, mounted on guards (dust-soiling, guards renewed, a few stains to title-page, 2 plates with short closed tears to lower margin, not touching plate, marginal tear to plate 6 (numbered 7), the corresponding right-hand panel laid onto thicker paper, plate 8 (numbered 9) similarly laid down). 

Large folio (463 x 360mm). Half-green vellum over marbled paper-covered boards (extremities rubbed and worn). 

Rome: Giovanni Giacomo de Rossi, 

First editions of Sicilian printmaker Pietro Aquila's (c.1650-1692) striking works reproducing, in the first, the extravagant, baroque wall and ceiling frescos in the barrel-vaulted gallery at the Palazzo Farnese, which were executed between 1597 and 1601 by Annibale Carracci for Cardinal Odoardo Farnese, and depict Greek and Roman myths on the subject of the loves of the Gods. The second depicts Lanfranco's 'The Council of the Gods', painted in 1624-5 in the central hall of the casino of the Villa Borghese for Cardinal Scipione Borghese. Lanfranco was one of Carracci's assistants in the completion of the Palazzo Farnese. 

The allegorical plate at the start of the first work depicts Annibale Carracci coaxing the figure of Painting out of a cave, accompanied by Genius, to be welcomed into the light by Apollo and Minerva; it symbolised the perceived darkness into which painting was said to have fallen in the late sixteenth century, and the role of Carracci's artistic genius in regenerating it.  That and the portrait of Carracci are signed as designed and drawn by Carlo Maratti, a friend of Aquila's trained in the Carracci tradition. 

Provenance: from the library of Michael Jaffé CBE (1923-1997), English art historian and director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Pencil notes in blank margins of first work. 

Berlin Katalog 4088 (first work).

Stock Code: 233472

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