(Funeral of Dorothea Sophia, Duchess of Parma)
Relazione de funerale celebrato in Parma … il giorno 28 di Febbraio dell’anno MDCCL … dalla Sacra Cattolica Real Maiesta’ di Elizabetta Farnese Regina Vedova di Spagna alla già Serenissima Dorotea Sofia Palatina di Neoburgo Duchessa Vedova di Parma e di Piacenza … e disposto da Sua Eccellenza il Sig.Conte Don Paolo Patrizio Zambeccari (etc).
Venezia, Gio: Battista Recurti 1750.
Folio. Engraved portrait frontispiece, printed title leaf, xv + (1) + (2) + xvii (1) + (2) + viiipp, 3 engraved plates (of which 1 folding, 2 large and folding). Recent marbled boards.
A rare and handsomely produced volume devoted to the funeral ceremony held in February 1750 in the church of Sta.Maria della Steccata in Parma, the traditional burying place of the ruling Farnese dynasty, to mark the death of Dorothea Sophia, Dowager Duchess of Parma and Piacenza. Dorothea Sophia of Neuburg (1670-1748), a daughter of the German Elector Palatine, was the widow of Francesco Farnese, who had reigned as Duke of Parma between 1694 and 1727, but the splendour of her funeral, and the motivation for the present publication, stemmed from the continuing interest taken in the affairs of Parma and Piacenza by the Dowager Duchess’s strong-minded daughter and only surviving child, Elizabetta Farnese, who had married King Philip V of Spain and had been Spain’s effective ruler for much of the latter part of her husband’s reign. The duchies had been conquered in 1735 by an invading Austrian army, and Dorothea Sophia had died in Parma on 15 September 1748 while the fate of Parma and Piacenza was still unsettled, but the duchies were handed back to the Queen of Spain’s younger son a few months later, and by 1750 the Queen of Spain, herself by then a widow, at whose expense the funeral arrangements were carried out, had clearly decided to celebrate the Dowager Duchess’s life and death in some style. The volume falls into three parts, the first describing in considerable detail the funeral decorations and catafalque erected in the interior of the church, to designs supplied by Francesco Grassi, theatre architect at the ducal court, while the second part prints the oration delivered at the funeral by Abate Lodovico Preti, and the third prints the text of a long poem composed for the occasion by Abate Carlo Innocenzio Frugoni. The three engraved plates illustrate the catafalque in ground plan and elevation, and one side of the interior of the church as decorated for the ceremony. Vinet 594 (although Vinet wrongly describes the funeral as being that of Elizabetta Farnese) ; not in Berlin Cat or Cicognara.