Descrizzione e relazione istorica del nobilissimo, e real palazzo di Caprarola. Suo principio,situazione, architettura, e pitture.
Roma, Eredi del Ferri 1741.
8vo. (8) + 127 + (1)pp. Contemporary vellum. Stamped eighteenth-century armorial device of an early owner of the copy in outer margin of title leaf.
First edition of this scarce guide book to the Farnese family’s celebrated palace at Caprarola, near Viterbo in the Lazio region of Italy, designed for Cardinal Alessandro Farnese by the eminent architect Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola from the late 1550s onwards, and subsequently decorated with frescoes by Taddeo and Federico Zuccari, Antonio Tempesta and other painters of the period. The guide book was compiled by Leopoldo Sebastiani, Caprarola’s hereditary curator, and it is a very good example of the genre, taking the visitor through each of the principal rooms of the palace building, and incorporating a full description of the palace’s surrounding garden, which was to become a model for early twentieth century garden designers working in a formal Italianate tradition. At the time Sebastiani was writing, the palace had recently passed by marriage out of Farnese family ownership into the possession of the Bourbon dynasty then reigning in Naples and Sicily, and the dynasty’s representative at the Papal Court, Cardinal Troiano Acquaviva d’Aragona, had assumed responsibility for the Caprarola property and had embarked on an extensive programme of internal restoration (see pp 116-7), which must have served as a trigger both for the publication of the present guide book and for the publication in 1748 of a large folio volume which provided engraved illustrations by Georg Caspar von Prenner of the principal frescoes (but without any accompanying text, hence the desirability for present-day readers of Sebastiani’s guide book). Cicognara 4094 ; not in BAL Cat.