Marquez, Pietro

Delle ville di Plinio il Giovane … con un’appendice su gli atri della S. Scrittura, e gli scamilli impares di Vitruvio.

Roma, Salomoni 1796.

Reference: 07304
Price: £580 [convert currency]

Full Description

8vo. (8) + 232pp, 2 folding engraved plans, 1 engraved map, 2 engraved vignettes. Contemporary marbled wrappers. The Donaueschingen copy, with faint circular ownership stamp on recto of title, and stamped ownership inscription on its blank verso. Old dampstain affecting lower blank margin of title leaf, and a smaller one slightly affecting last two leaves of volume, but essentially a good, fresh copy, untrimmed as issued.

Only edition of this first serious attempt at a reconstruction of the architecture and ground plans of Pliny’s Laurentine and Tuscan villas since that by the English writer Robert Castell in the 1720s (of which, not surprisingly, Marquez was unaware). Marquez prints all the relevant passages from Pliny’s correspondence, subjects them to careful analysis, and offers an architectural reconstruction as compatible as possible both with Pliny’s text and with Vitruvian theory (see the vignette ill. on p.114 for the result). His close study of Vitruvius is also evident in a concluding essay on Vitruvius’ celebrated scamilli impares and on the evidence for ancient architecture provided by Holy Writ. Marquez dedicates the book to Count D’Azara, the Spanish minister to the Holy See and the patron and biographer of the painter Mengs, and he mentions a joint visit to a potential site of the Laurentine villa by himself, by the young Spanish architect Silvestro Perez and by Louis Petit Radel, a French cleric from Gascony. Unexpectedly, Marquez (1741-1820) was himself a Mexican, although doubtless of Spanish ancestry and by this time an established writer and historian in Rome, and he may well have been the first Latin American to write in a scholarly way about an architectural subject. Cicognara 559 (=3268).

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