(Maffei) Pindemonte, Marc’ Antonio
Orazione funebre in morte del Marchese Scipione Maffei detta nella cattedrale di Verona dal Marchese Marc’ Antonio Pindemonte … in occasione de’ solenni funerali … con l’agiunte d’ alcuni componimenti poetici d’autori Veronesi.
Verona, Dionisio Ramanzini 1755 (“a spese della magnifica citta”).
4to. xxxviii + 55 + (1)pp, engraved portrait frontispiece, large folding engraving of Maffei’s funeral catafalque. Quarter imitation vellum, marbled boards. Bookplate of Franz Pollack-Parnau (1903-1981, historian). A small old stain at outer blank margin of preliminary leaves, and a small repaired tear beneath portrait frontispiece, otherwise a good, fresh copy.
A rare memorial volume issued at the expense of the city of Verona to commemorate their most distinguished citizen, Marquese Scipione Maffei (1675-1755). Maffei had been a central figure in the intellectual and cultural life of the city, both as its historian and as an active promoter of music, architecture and the theatre, and his Museo Lapidario, housed in a purpose-built building designed by the architect Alessandro Pompei, was one of the earliest museums of classical sculpture made accessible to ordinary members of the public. In addition to printing the oration delivered at Maffei’s funeral, the present volume provides the text of various sonnets composed in his memory by local poets, and, more remarkably, describes and illustrates the very impressive funeral catafalque designed for the occasion by the local architect Adriano Cristofali ; architect-designed catafalques of this nature were produced for the funerals of royalty, great aristocrats and princes of the church, but it is not easy to think of catafalques designed by architects for the funerals of intellectuals, and it is valuable to have this excellent published record of the catafalque produced on this occasion. It was decorated, as the text records, by statues representing eight of the principal rivers of Europe (including the Thames, in reference to Maffei’s status as an honorary Fellow of the Royal Society), and by other emblematic representations of science, learning and literature. Cicognara 2346 ; not in Berlin Cat.