12 June 2009
FLORENCE 1661 -- MONIGLIA, Giovanni Andrea. Ercole in Tebe Festa teatrale rappresentata in Firenze per le reali nozze de' serenissimi sposi Cosimo terzo Principe di Toscana, e Margherita Luisa Principessa d'Orleans. Florence: Stamperia all'Insegna della Stella, 1661.
4o (224 x 160 mm). 13 etched plates (one folding, 12 double-page) all by VALERIO SPADA after the designs of FERDINANDO TACCA (repaired tears along horizontal folds with some slight loss to image). (Small marginal repairs at gutter to title and to N2-P1.) Contemporary vellum over pasteboard. Provenance: Baron Horace de Landau (1824-1903, bookplate).
Moniglia's work documents the celebrations held for the marriage of COSIMO III DE'MEDICI (1642-1723), Grand Duke of Tuscany, to Princess MARGUERITE-LOUISE of Orléans (1645-1721) of in 1661. Moniglia's musical drama was performed at the Teatro dell'Accademia degli Immobili on 12 July 1661. Over 300 performers in 370 costumes took part. Music was composed by JACOPO MELANI and GIOVANNI ANDREA MONIGLIA, who was the Grand Duke's physician, wrote the libretto, based on Euripede's play Hercules Furens. Ferdinando Tacca designed the stage-curtain and all the sets and apparati, which were drawn for this book by Valerio Spada. The plates show the twelve major scenes of the drama, culminating with the large folding thirteenth plate illustrating the grand finale in the garden of Venus. Spada was heavily influenced in his etching style by his fellow artist at the Medici court, Stefano della Bella. He was employed originally as a writing-master, but after della Bella's departure for France, started to produce etchings. Moniglia's libretto was so successful it was revived for a performance in Venice in 1671. Unfortunately the marriage was a disaster and quickly developed into open domestic warfare, leading to divorce in 1675. Berlin 4124 (calling for 12 plates); Cicognara 1457 (calling for 11 plates); Gamba 2013; Vinet 613; Watanabe 1294 (noting 14 plates in the British Library copy where there is an additional folding plate of a palace and procession).
Contact Client Service
New York +1 212 636 2000
London +44 (0)20 7839 9060
Asia +852 2760 1766
The Plantin Polyglot bible — offered in London on 11 July — makes an emotional homecoming to the Antwerp printing press where it was produced some 450 years ago
As Christie’s offers 178 works from his personal collection, the illustrator of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory offers us a glimpse of his creative process
Mark Wiltshire, Associate Specialist in Science & Books, walks us through the history of Christianity’s most influential printed text
Seven expert tips on collecting, whether you seek affordable works on paper or a museum-quality masterpiece
The artistic director of The Grange Festival — a month-long staging of opera in the south of England — selects favourite works from Christie’s Classic Week in London