FONTANA, Carlo (1634-1714). Templum Vaticanum et ipsius origo. Rome: Giovanni Francesco Buagni, 1694.
2° (442 x 315mm). Parallel title and text in Latin and Italian, 79 engraved plates and plans (11 folding, 1 double-page) by Alessandro Specchi after Fontana. (Some browning and soiling.) Contemporary vellum, modern morocco lettering-piece on spine (lightly soiled, neat repair to front inner hinge). Provenance: Augustus de Pugin (i.e. (?)Augustus Welby Pugin, 1812-1852, gothic-style armorial bookplate).
A FINE COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION WITH AN INTERESTING PROVENANCE. Pope Innocent XI commissioned this work from Fontana in 1680, partly to quell rumours that the dome of St. Peter's was collapsing. The work is divided into seven books: book I deals with the antique site of St. Peter's; book II the basilica constructed by Emperor Constantine in about 320; book III the transportation in 1585 of the obelisk to its present site in the square in front of St. Peter's; book IV the square and Bernini's oval colonnade; book V a detailed survey of the fabric of St. Peter's; book VI the relative cost of St. Peter's in comparison with the Temple of Solomon; book VII a comparison of St. Peter's, the Pantheon and the Duomo in Florence. Fowler 122; Berlin Kat. 2678.