12 June 2009
FLORENCE 1589 -- [ALBERTI, Cherubino (1553-1615) and Orazio SCARABELLI (fl. 1589)]. Suite of 12 etchings (of at least 14) of an allegorical and theatrical cavalcade designed by Bernardo Buontalenti (1536-1608) and a spectacle staged by Virginio Orsini, second Duke of Bracciano (1572-1615), to celebrate the marriage of Ferdinand I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and Christina of Lorraine. [Florence: c. 1589].
148 x 218 mm. each. Watermark: pilgrim in circle, crown surmount (type of Briquet 7573). Mostly full margins, some thread margins. In mounts and cloth fall-down-back box.
Fine and EXTREMELY RARE set of festival plates. The etching of a float drawn by a pair of bears is signed with Alberti's CA monogram (Nagler, Monogrammisten 261). The Metropolitan Museum of Art set consists of 11 etchings within an ornamental border by Orazio Scarabelli; the Victoria and Albert Museum set also belongs to the borderless state. At least two other etchings belong to the series: Fountain (Saslow 82) and Garden Extended (Saslow 86). Eighteen other etchings by Scarabelli and Epifanio d'Alfani in larger format also recorded these wedding celebrations. This smaller series shows allegorical floats, including one for the tournament referees, Mount Mongibello, an oared ship with firing cannon, the Triumph of Death, the Garden before Extension, musicians (one atop a crocodile), knights, pages, and riders on giant birds. Five plates from the Gourary set were exhibited in the Dartmouth College exhibition, Theater Art of the Medici (October-December 1980). James Saslow, The Medici Wedding of 1589. Florentine Festival as Theatrum Mundi (1996) 72, 74-81, 83-5.
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