(Pope Pius IX)
Triplice omaggio alla Santità di Papa Pio IX nel suo giubileo episcopale offerto dalle tre Romane Accademie Pontificia di Archeologia Insigne delle Belle Arti denominata di S.Luca Pontificia de’Nuovi Lincei. (Parte prima e seconda).
Roma, Tipografia della Pace 1877.
Folio. Parts 1 and 2 only. xii (including preliminary blank leaf) + 129 + (1) + 81 + (1)pp, (1) double-page litho plate, 24 photo plates of inscriptions, and a further (19) actual mounted photos of buildings and works of art on (16)ff (the mounts of the photos occasionally a little rippled and dusty). Original printed boards, neatly rebacked including original spine, the covers rather soiled and bumped at outer corners. Ink presentation inscription (in French) to Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris, at top of upper cover. Nineteenth century ownership stamp of Bibliothèque, Ecole des Beaux Arts, at foot of title leaf, overstamped with another old stamp recording the book’s release as a duplicate.
By the summer of 1877 Pope Pius X, who had been Pope since June 1846, the longest period in the history of the Papacy, inspired universal affection within the Roman Catholic community, and arrangements were put in hand to celebrate with unusual fervour the fiftieth anniversary of his consecration to the episcopate, as Archbishop of Spoleto in June 1827. A joint publication in the Pope’s honour was sponsored to mark the occasion by the Pontifical Academy of Archaeology, the Accademia di San Luca, and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and its first two parts, bound together in the present volume as issued, record archaeological discoveries in the city of Rome; numerous new buildings and restorations of existing buildings put in hand to designs by a total of six prominent Roman architects during Pius IX’s long pontificate ; and sculptures and other works of art commissioned and paid for out of papal funds during the same period. A third part, sponsored by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, was issued as a separate volume. The volume provides a useful official record of a period of archaeological discovery and artistic patronage often overlooked in subsequent publications. Its text is also accompanied by two groups of photographic illustrations. The first, a set of 24 numbered photo plates, was intended as an illustrated record of the collection of inscriptions of the early Christian period in the Museo Cristiano Pio-Lateranense, set up by Pope Pius IX in the Lateran Palace in the early 1850s, and described in full in an authoritative accompanying essay by the eminent Roman archaeologist G.B. de’ Rossi. The remaining photo illustrations, all actual mounted photographs, record a number of buildings and works of art described earlier in the volume, including a very unfamiliar tobacco factory, designed by Andrea Sarti in Rome’s Piazza Mastai ; the equally unfamiliar new church of S.S. Pio e Antonio at Anzio, designed by Gaetano Morichini; and the interiors of two of Rome’s earliest churches as newly restored by the papal architect Virginio Vespignani. In the late 1870s it was still unusual for folio-size publications on architecture and related topics to be illustrated photographically, and the use here both of photographic plates and of actual photographs reflects the wish of the Pontifical Academies to celebrate Pius’s episcopal jubilee appropriately. Olschki, Choix 18154 (all three parts).