ROME 1623 -- [GUIDICCIONI, Lelio]. Breve racconto della transportatione del corpo di Papa Paolo V dall Basilica di S. Pietro a'quella di S. Maria Maggiore. Rome: heirs of Bartolomeo Zannetti, 1623.
Two parts in one, 2o (322 x 241 mm). Engraved arms of dedicatee, Cardinal Borghese, on title, folding plate of the catafalque including the temporary statues attributed to GIOVANNI LORENZO BERNINI by DIETRICH KRüGER after GIOVANNI DOMENICO GARZOLI, engraving detailing draped column capitals by Krüger after SERGIO VENTURI, 16 engraved plates of statuary by Krüger after GIOVANNI LANFRANCO numbered 1-16 and with letterpress caption on versos, large woodcut initials, woodcut tailpiece. Overslip correction pasted to p.16 and to p.31 of the commemorative verse. (A few stains to title, some pale dampstaining.) Contemporary Italian vellum over pasteboard gilt, Medici arms in gilt built up from small tools at center of each side within a diamond-shaped border incorporating an eagle tool at each angle, a wide outer border built up from small leaf tools with floral corner-pieces, edges gilt and gauffred (some worming and a few pale stains). Provenance: Ferdinando II de' Medici? (1610-70), Gran Duke of Tuscany from 1621 (Medici arms on binding).
FIRST EDITION. For one year after his death, the body of POPE PAUL V (Camillo Borghese, 1552-1621, Pope from 1605) rested at the Vatican; this volume describes the solemn occasion of the translation of the body to the Borghese chapel at S. Maria Maggiore. It prints the oration delivered by LELIO GUIDICCIONI and much commemorative verse, and illustrates the monumental baroque catafalque erected in the Basilica of S. Maria Maggiore with an edifice by the architect Sergio Venturi. The catafalque was decorated with 20 putti and 16 allegorical figures in stucco by Bernini; the 16 virtues are reproduced here in engravings by Giovanni Lanfranco. The Breve racconto is the ONLY WITNESS TO THIS WORK BY BERNINI. Because the statuary does not survive, it has been largely overlooked in Bernini studies (cf. Wittkower, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 3rd ed., 1981, 81:9). Bernini had been granted a papal knighthood only the previous year by Paul V, and "Cavalier" Bernini is praised in the preface as the one who "camina ... gran passi ... liberar questo secolo dall'invidia di quelli antichi." Lanfranco was also a noted and influential Italian artist of the Baroque, whose frescoes in the Palazzo del Quirinale brought him fame. A student of Carracci, Lanfranco had recently been commissioned by Paul V to fresco the vault of the Loggia della Benedizione at St. Peter's; its completion was interrupted by the pope's unexpected death. Lanfranco enjoyed later commissions by the Borghese family, including paintings in the Borghese chapel. BL 17th-Century Italian I, p. 430; Cicognara 1429; Vinet 589.