12 June 2009
NAPLES 1629 -- ORILIA, Francesco. Il Zodiaco over idea di perfettione de prencipi, formata dall'heroiche virtù dell'Illustriss. Et Eccellentiss. Signore D. Antonio Alvarez di Toledo Duca d'Alba Vicere Di Napoli. Rapresentata come un trionfo dal fidelissimo popolo Napoletano. Naples: Ottavio Beltrano, 1630.
4o (213 x 160 mm). 42 full-page woodcuts, 95 large full-length woodcuts of figures, 65 elaborately framed woodcut 'imprese,' 12 small woodcut roundels of zodiacal signs, and numerous woodcut initials, head- and tail-pieces. (Some old repaired tears at gutter in gathering Mm, some words effaced in manuscript on Ccc3v, some pale dampstaining and soiling.) Contemporary Italian vellum over pasteboard (some staining).
FIRST EDITION of this lavishly illustrated account of a festival held in Naples on the feast of St. John the Baptist on 23 June 1629, to celebrate the seventh year in government of the Spanish Viceroy, ANTONIO ALVAREZ of Toledo (1585-1639), Duke of Alba. It was dedicated to the Viceroy's son, Ferdinando Alvarez, Count of Navarre. The program for the occasion was devised by Francesco Antonio Scacciavento, appointed director by the Neapolitan commune, and was organized around a zodiacal theme. The streets and piazze of Naples were used to create an urban scheme of the zodiac in honor of the Viceroy. The Duke of Alba and his retinue were to pass through twelve triumphal arches, each associated with a sign of the zodiac, and each showing a virtue of the Duke's government. The concept was derived from Giovanni Quaia Parmegiano's De civitate Cristi (1501), and provides detailed insight into the expected duties of a Baroque prince. Not in Cicognara, Praz, Ruggieri or Landwehr.
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