DIES, Albert Christoph (1755-1822), REINHART, Johann Christian (1761-1847) and Jakob Wilhelm MECHAU (1745-1808). Mahlerisch-Radirte Prospecte von Italien. Nuremberg: Johann Friedrich Frauenholz, 1792-98.
12 parts in one, oblong broadsheets (365 x 462 mm). 72 etched plates by Dies, Reinhart and Mechau. (Some occasional very minor marginal spotting.) Contemporary half calf, original printed blue wrappers bound in (rebacked, corners renewed). Provenance: acquired from Ars Libri, 1987.
FIRST EDITION of this collection of Italian views, by the German artists Dies, Reinhart and Mechau, a highlight of German print making in the age of Goethe. The artist connected through the German artist community in Rome and the publisher Frauenholz. Each artist contributed 24 views. The collection includes 16 views of Rome, many of the other 56 views are of areas likely depicted here for the first time including Subiaco, Terni and Civita Castellana as well as the picturesque environs of Tivoli und Subiaco. The attention to botanical, geological, meteorological and topographical detail reflects the growing interest in these subjects. A French edition titled Collection de vues pittoresques de l'Italie : dessinées d'après nature, et gravées l'eau forte à Rome, par trois peintres allemands... was published in 1799. Johannn Friedrich Frauenholz (1758-1822) was a publisher, collector, and one of the most important German art dealers of his time. He corresponded with many artist and authors including Goethe and Schiller. RARE: According to American Book Prices Current no complete copy has sold at auction in at least 35 years. Lanckoronska/Oehler Die Buchillustration des 18. Jahrhundreds in Deutschland II,35; Brunet III:703 (2nd edition); see Kippenberg 4795; Thieme/Becker IX, 248 (Dies); XXIV, 323 (Mechau); XXVIII, 125f. (Reinhart).