12 June 2009
VIENNA 1674 -- MINATO, Niccolò (c. 1627-98). Il fuoco eterno custodito dale vestali. Drama Musicale Per la Felicissima Nascita della Sereniss: Arciduchessa Anna Maria, figlia dell' Imperatore Leopoldo, e della Imperatrice Claudia Felice. Vienna: Giovanni Christoforo Cosmerovio, 1674.
2o (333 x 227 mm). Text pages framed with rules and type ornaments. Etched frontispiece, large folding engraved plate of the proscenium in the Theater auf der Cortina and 12 double-page etched plates of scenes in the three acts, all executed by MATTHÄUS KÜSEL (1629-81) from the designs by LUDOVICO BURNACINI (1636-1707). (Tears in three folds of the first plate, very short tear in center fold of penultimate plate, final text leaf backed, some marginal staining at beginning and end.) Contemporary calf, gilt spine, (binding somewhat worn and repaired). Provenance: Lucien Goldschmidt (sold to Gourary 1959).
FIRST EDITION of the illustrated libretto of a spectacular musical drama produced in one of the greatest -- albeit short-lived -- Baroque theaters of Europe on the occasion of the birth on 11 September of the Emperor's daughter, ANNA MARIA SOPHIA of Habsburg, Archduchess of Austria, who died just three months later. Küsel's plates do justice to Burnacini's famous sets, which are described in detail by Flora Biach-Schiffmann in her 1931 monograph, Giovanni und Ludovico Burnacini. Theater und Feste am Wiener Hofe p. 111-116. The music was composed by ANTONIO DRAGHI (c. 1635-1700), the ballet choreographed by JOHANN HEINRICH SCHMELZER (c. 1623-80). Berlin 4128; Hofer, Baroque Book Illustration 111; Sonneck 612; Vinet 671.
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