Morcelli, (Stefano), Fea (Carlo), and Visconti, (Ennio Quirino)
La Villa Albani ora Torlonia descritta.
Roma, Salviucci 1869.
8vo. xv (including preliminary blank leaf) + (1) + 355 + (1)pp, errata slip. Mid twentieth century quarter calf, marbled boards, slightly rubbed, original front printed wrapper bound in. A good, fresh copy internally.
The Villa Albani, built in Rome’s Via Salaria for Cardinal Alessandro Albani in the mid eighteenth century to house his superb collection of classical sculpture and carved inscriptions unearthed from sites in Rome and its vicinity, had been the subject of a guide book published in 1785 with a text by Stefano Morcelli, updated in 1803 by the Roman antiquary Carlo Fea. No further edition of the guide book was published until the present one, evidently commissioned by Prince Alessandro Torlonia (1800-1886), of the Roman banking family, who in 1867 had purchased the Villa Albani (henceforth the Villa Albani-Torlonia), complete with its contents. Despite the authorial names on the title leaf, which include the added name of Ennio Quirino Visconti (who had died as far back as 1818), the revision of the guide book as Fea had left it was carried out by a new anonymous individual, who seems to have done an efficient job in updating the list of the sculptures and supplying references to descriptions of them in other publications. The particular merit of this version of the guide book is that it lists (pp 317-331) the collection of Old Master paintings housed in the villa, not described in the editions of 1785 and 1803. The guide book is printed on a cheaper paper than that used for the earlier edition, but it is nonetheless a very useful record of the collections in the Villa Albani after they had passed into Torlonia possession. The present copy is a better one than that listed in our catalogue 72, item 83. Olschki, Choix 17621.