Monumenti sacri e profani dell’imperiale e reale basilica di Sant’Ambrogio in Milano.
Milano, “dalla tipografia dell’autore” 1824.
Folio. (8) + 224pp, with (4) additional pages between p. 40 and p.41, and (32) plates numbered I-XXXI and IV*, of which 1 is an engraved ground plan and the remainder are aquatints, mostly printed in sepia. One additional contemporary sepia aquatint view of the basilica (“F. Naymiller inc., F. Campi aquer”) bound in at end of volume. In a contemporary binding with calf spine and marbled boards (the spine repaired at head and foot for a previous owner). Faint old stain slightly affecting some outer corners of text leaves, but essentially a good, fresh copy.
A handsome scholarly publication devoted to the great early mediaeval basilica church of S. Ambrogio in Milan, with particular emphasis on its unrivalled internal fittings (pulpit, high altar and so on). What is unusual about the book is that it is illustrated throughout by aquatint plates, mostly printed in sepia, commissioned by its author and publisher from the best contemporary artists and engravers in the city, including the celebrated stage set designer Alessandro Sanquirico, responsible for three splendid perspective views (plates XI, XXIX and XXX). Although the book’s main focus is on the earlier history of the fabric, there are good illustrations of chapels then recently remodelled by the architects Luigi Cagnola and Giuseppe Zanoja, and text and plates at the end of the volume are devoted to the various surrounding cloisters designed by Bramante and a free-standing chapel designed by the architect Fabio Mangone. BAL Cat 1054.