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Teti, Girolamo

Aedes Barberinae ad Quirinalem ... descriptae.
Roma, Filippo de’ Rossi 1647.
Reference: 06825

Full Description

Large folio. 195 + (1)pp, incl engraved frontispiece ; 8 engraved plates of sculptures account for pp 197-212, 2 double-page engraved plates for pp 213-6, 3 engraved plates of sculpture and 1 engraved plate showing exterior of building for pp 217-24. Also the following (not bound in this order, but most intelligibly listed thus) : engraved portrait and 12 folding engraved plates after paintings ; 1 printed leaf with instructions for binder ; 3 engraved plates and 4 printed ff of inscriptions ; an appendix of 36 numbered pp, including engraved half title leaf printed in sanguine, 2 engraved ff of epistolary preface on one leaf, and 15 full-page engraved plates, mainly with portraits of cardinals ; (12)pp printed index ; and an unnumbered leaf with engraved vignette. Contemporary full vellum. Printed ownership label of Isaac Vossius, 19th century armorial bookplate of Fintray House Library (the Aberdeenshire country house of a branch of the Forbes family), and printed booklabel of Peter and Linda Murray. A good copy.
A good copy, from the library of the great Dutch scholar Isaac Vossius (1618-1689), of the second and best edition of Teti’s description of the interiors, paintings and sculptures of the Palazzo Barberini in Rome, built for the family of Pope Urban VIII from the late 1620s onwards to designs by Maderno, with subsequent modifications by Bernini and Borromini, and incorporating painted ceilings and other fresco decoration by Pietro da Cortona, Andrea Sacchi and Andrea Camassei. Teti’s splendid and sumptuously produced book first appeared in 1642, in a small number of copies primarily intended for presentation to cardinals and other dignitaries, and by 1643-4 it was decided that it should be reissued in an expanded form, with an appendix printing the texts of laudatory poems in Latin sent to Teti by some of those who had received copies of the earlier edition, and illustrated with engravings of their portrait busts set in niches in the loggia of the palace. Shortly afterwards Pope Urban VIII and Teti died, and the Barberini family fell into temporary political disgrace, but the Roman publisher Filippo de’ Rossi bravely took over responsibility for the volume, dedicating it to Cardinal Mazarin (after 1644 the Barberini family’s most reliable political ally), adding engraved or printed texts of classical Greek and Roman inscriptions preserved in the palace, and incorporating Teti’s intended appendix (but in an unfinished form, for there are blank areas on four plates where a poem should have been, and on two of these plates the accompanying portrait busts are not identified). Although the volume is thus not quite as had originally been planned, this second edition, with the half title leaf to the poetry section carrying the inscription “purpurei cycni” extravagantly picked out in sanguine, fully reflects the Barberini family’s prestige in the last years of Urban VIII’s pontificate, and in both editions the ambitious comparisons drawn by Teti between the Palazzo Barberini and the temple of Apollo on Mount Parnassus gain in credibility from the very handsome engravings by Cornelis Bloemaert of the family collection of classical sculptures and of the frescoes by Pietro da Cortona, Sacchi and Camassei. Vossius’s library was acquired by the University of Leiden soon after his death in February 1689, and the books from it were distinguished by a printed label added at that time , reading “ex bibliotheca viri illustris Isaaci Vossii”, followed by an item number added in ink. The present copy carries that label on the lower blank margin of the engraved frontispiece, but it was disposed of by the University of Leiden in the later eighteenth century as a duplicate (see enclosed typescript letter from E.Braches, Keeper of Printed Books, Bibliotheek der Rijksuniversiteit te Leiden, dated 1 February 1968), and was recently in the library of the distinguished art historian Peter Murray (1920-1992). Berlin Cat 2662 (1642 edition) ; Cicognara 3463 (1642 edition) ; Schudt 1086 (this edition) ; BAL Cat 3292 (1642 edition).

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