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Illustrated Perspective Treatise by a Renowned Sicilian Architect

AMATO, Paolo. La Nuova Pratica di Prospettiva nella quale si spiegano alcune nuove opinioni, e la Regola universale di Disegnare... Palermo, Vincenzo Toscano & Onofrio Gramignani, 1736.

Folio [42 x 26 cm], engraved author portrait signed Antonio Bona after Nicolas Palma, after a 1697 painting by the Roman Vincent Noletti. (4) ff., 86 pp., 35 (actually 34, with 10 & 11 on same image) numbered plates on 18 leaves, of which one is double and folding. Bound in contemporary stiff vellum, title neatly stenciled on spine. Ownership inscription of Giacomo Soranzo 1742 on front endleaf; occasional toning and foxing and some scattered waterstaining, but generally very good

$13,500

Very rare sole edition of one of the only illustrated architectural treatises by a working architect published in Sicily. Intended for painters and architects, La Nuova Pratica includes practical demonstrations of geometry, reflecting contemporary ideas on optics and perspective. Amato's sources included a wide range of religious, mathematical and philosophical works as well as architectural treatises, especially those of Caramuel de Lobkowitz and Juan Bautista Villalpando (Dictionary of Art I.759).


Amato (1634-1714) trained as a priest in the Crociferi Order, and began his career by designing ephemeral works for the church: altarpieces, papier-mâché models, and painted hangings. He also contributed works to important political events and the feast day of Palermo's patron saint, creating designs for triumphal arches and lavish chariots (perhaps based on those by Jacques Callot). The influence of these works can be seen in Amato's permanent architecture. He also designed a number of prominent buildings in Palermo, including Santa Maria della Pietà, Santa Teresa alla Kalsa (1686 and 1706)-a monumental Baroque church with an imposing façade featuring two orders of Corinthian columns-and the fountain Fontana del Garraffo. His most famous work is Chiesa SS. Salvatore (1682), built for the Basilian Order, one of the few centrally planned churches in Sicily, with a complex irregular octagon foundation and an oval cupola. For the simultaneously organic and intimate classicism of his architecture, he is considered a leader in his field.


PROVENANCE: Giacomo Soranzo served as governor during the Venetian rule in Imotski, Hungary, from 1783-86.


Not in OCLC; ICCU lists a copy dated 1714 at Padova but lacking frontispiece! DigiBib lists a microfiche copy at UB Freiburg-Breisgau


* Vagnetti EIVb12; Riccardi I.i.30 (unseen); Cicognara 805 (lacking plates); DBI II.685; Grove Dictionary of Art I.758-759; not in Berlin Katalog or Schlosser.

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