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FONTANA, Domenico (1543-1607). Della trasportatione dell'obelisco Vaticano et delle fabriche di Nostro Signore Papa Sisto V. Rome: Domenico Basa, 1590.
FONTANA, Domenico (1543-1607). Della trasportatione dell'obelisco Vaticano et delle fabriche di Nostro Signore Papa Sisto V. Rome: Domenico Basa, 1590.

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FONTANA, Domenico (1543-1607). Della trasportatione dell'obelisco Vaticano et delle fabriche di Nostro Signore Papa Sisto V. Rome: Domenico Basa, 1590.

2o (404 x 266 mm). Engraved title, portrait of Fontana and 38 etched and engraved plates by Natali Bonifazio da Sebenico, including 2 double-page and one folding (slightly shaved along top edge), 3 diagrams in text. (Occasional pale browning and spotting.) 17th-century Italian vellum (some light wear). Provenance: Pagani (early inscription on pastedown); acquired from George Staack, 1963.

FIRST EDITION, RECORDING AND ILLUSTRATING ONE OF THE GREAT ENGINEERING FEATS OF THE RENAISSANCE. Fontana organized and directed this successful attempt to move the Vatican obelisk. Over 900 men, 150 horses and 47 cranes were required, and the project took four and a half months to complete (from 30 April to 10 September 1586). The plates "are important examples in the development of architectural drawing" (Fowler), and are considered by Olschki to be "remarquables au point de vue artistique autant que technique." Some plates towards the end illustrate the buildings designed by Fontana for Sixtus V. Brunet II:1329; Cicognara 3736; Dibner, Heralds of Science 174; Fowler 124; Mortimer, Italian 193; Norman 812; Olschki 16955.

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