MANTUA 1432 -- CONTICELLI, Angelo (fl. 1680) & Giovanni Pietro BELLORI (c. 1615-96). Sigismundi Augusti Mantuam adeuntis profectio ac triumphus ... Opus ex Archetypo Iulij Romani à Francisco Primaticio Mantuae in Ducali Palatio quod del T. nuncupatur, Plasticâ atque Anagliphicâ sculptura mire elaboratum. Rome: Giovanni Giacomo de Rossi, .
Oblong 2o (338 x 490 mm). Calligraphic manuscript title and dedication ON VELLUM (fol. 1r, verso blank); etched allegorical dedication incorporating a portrait of Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I by JACQUES BLONDEAU (1655-c. 1698), numbered 2 in the copperplate, 24 etched plates of the procession by PIETRO SANTI BARTOLI (1635-1700) after GIULIO ROMANO (before 1499-1546) and FRANCESCO PRIMATICCIO (c. 1504-70), with Bellori's captions and numbered 3-26, ALL PRINTED ON VELLUM. (Top outer blank corner of 8 leaves and extreme upper or outer edge of 6 leaves stained.)
ORIGINAL PRESENTATION BINDNG: Italian or Austrian red morocco, the covers painted in gold, silver (mostly oxidized) and white with an acanthus-leaf border, cherubs carrying the imperial crown and holding up a large wreath surrounding the imperial orb and eagle, and a large sunburst, an intricate ribbon lettered with a Latin dedication to LEOPOLD I (b. 1640, r. 1658-1705), plain spine, vellum endleaves, (corners, joints and edges rubbed, painting worn). Provenance: EMPEROR LEOPOLD I (manuscript dedication and binding); French bookseller (description laid in); Lathrop Harper (sold to Gourary 1956).
THE IMPERIAL DEDICATION COPY ON VELLUM IN A GOLD-PAINTED BINDING. The engraved title was substituted with calligraphic manuscript in order to insert Conticelli's dedication to the emperor, followed by the engraved dedication and 24 plates depicting the Mantuan triumph in 1432 of SIGISMUND, King of the Romans (Holy Roman Emperor 1433-37), in the classical Roman manner. Bartoli reproduced Primaticcio's bas-relief friezes, which were sculpted in stucco from Giulio Romano's designs and decorated the Ducal Palazzo Te. Sigismund rewarded Gianfrancesco Gonzaga for this triumph by elevating him the following year to the marquisate of Mantua. A century and a half later Conticelli, about whom little else appears to be known, commissioned from Bartoli and Rossi this important series of prints as documentation and dedicated it to Leopold I. Berlin 4075; Cicognara 3367; Lipperheide Si 2; Vinet 653.