3 June 2009
[ROSSINI, Luigi (1790-1857). Gli archi trionfali onorarii e funebri degli antichi romani sparsi per tutta Italia disegnati. Rome: presso l'autore e da G. Scudellari, 1836?].
Broadsheet 2° (760 x 540mm). 72 (of 73) engraved plates, most by and after Rossini, others by Gioacchino Camilli and Pio Bertoni. (Lacks plate 54, plate 24 with marginal tears, first two leaves of text dust-soiled and with tears at foremargin, without a title-page.) Unbound as issued, preserved in modern green cloth portfolio. Provenance: pencilled additions and alterations to the plate numbering in an old hand.
EARLY ISSUE OF THESE PICTURESQUE PLATES. There are a total of thirty-two plates with dramatic views of triumphal arches, the diminutive human and animal figures below serving to emphasise their colossal aspect. Plate 18 shows three and plate 22 two views in one plate. The remaining plates show outline elevations, plans and decorative details of statuary and bas-reliefs. Some plates had previously been used in Rossini's Le Antichità Romane (1829) and Le Antichità di Pompei (1831), hence their earlier numeration (or absence of numbering to avoid confusion). In later issues the plates were unambiguously numbered 1-LXXIII. Like the Kissner copy, this copy is without the printed title, which was possibly only included in later issues (the Kissner copy also contained 72 rather than 73 plates). The letterpress consists of an unnumbered dedication leaf and 12 numbered pages containing the preface, plate key, catalogue of Rossini's works and imprimatur. CLEAN AND FRESH IMPRESSIONS with deckle edges. Berlin Kat. 1921; Dante Cremonini, L'Italia nelle vedute e carte geografiche dal 1493 al 1894 (Modena 1991), 124; RIBA 2849: 'an early state with some plates unnumbered'; Sergio Rossetti, Rome: a bibliography from the invention of printing through 1899 (Florence 2001), III, p. 301 no. 893.
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