Nova Racolta degl’Obelischi et Colonne Antiche, della Alma Citta di Roma, con le sue Dichiaratione date in Luce da G. G. Rossi. Giovanni Giacomo / ROSSI, Giovanni MAGGI.
Nova Racolta degl’Obelischi et Colonne Antiche, della Alma Citta di Roma, con le sue Dichiaratione date in Luce da G. G. Rossi.
Nova Racolta degl’Obelischi et Colonne Antiche, della Alma Citta di Roma, con le sue Dichiaratione date in Luce da G. G. Rossi.
Nova Racolta degl’Obelischi et Colonne Antiche, della Alma Citta di Roma, con le sue Dichiaratione date in Luce da G. G. Rossi.
Nova Racolta degl’Obelischi et Colonne Antiche, della Alma Citta di Roma, con le sue Dichiaratione date in Luce da G. G. Rossi.
Nova Racolta degl’Obelischi et Colonne Antiche, della Alma Citta di Roma, con le sue Dichiaratione date in Luce da G. G. Rossi.
Nova Racolta degl’Obelischi et Colonne Antiche, della Alma Citta di Roma, con le sue Dichiaratione date in Luce da G. G. Rossi.
Nova Racolta degl’Obelischi et Colonne Antiche, della Alma Citta di Roma, con le sue Dichiaratione date in Luce da G. G. Rossi.
Nova Racolta degl’Obelischi et Colonne Antiche, della Alma Citta di Roma, con le sue Dichiaratione date in Luce da G. G. Rossi.
THE OBELISKS & COLUMNS OF ROME:
WITH ONE OF THE FIRST APPEARANCES OF THE PLATE OF THE PAMPHILI OBELISK
ATOP BERNINI’S FOUNTAIN IN PIAZZA NAVONA
Rome, [nd but c. 1651-1666].

Nova Racolta degl’Obelischi et Colonne Antiche, della Alma Citta di Roma, con le sue Dichiaratione date in Luce da G. G. Rossi.

(26cm x 19cm). With 18 full page engravings including titlepage. Bound in its original vellum. With the early ex-libris of M. A.G-du Plessis. Front endpaper with edges frayed. Genuine and fresh copy, with the plates in excellent impression and with good margins.

Rare augmented edition of this undated series of 17 plates representing the obelisks and ancient columns of Rome, each engraving with a descriptive caption, and most with a scale or an indication of height. This highly focused collection, most likely inspired during the papacy of Innocent X (Camillo Pamphili, reigned 1644-55), is newly augmented here with a plate by Louis Rouhier showing the Pamphili obelisk atop Bernini’s fountain of the Four Rivers in Piazza Navona.

The employment of ancient obelisks as foci in the remarkable transformation of the architecture of Rome during the Barock period has been well-documented by historians of architecture. Beginning during the final decades of the sixteenth century, “In a grandiose effort to demonstrate the new dynamic spirit of the Counter-Reformation Sixtus V [reigned 1585-90] moved the Vatican Obelisk to Piazza S. Pietro and re-erected those now in the Piazza del Popolo, Piazza dell’Esquilino and in front of the Lateran. His example was followed by several of his successors” during the seventeenth century. (see Erik Iversen in Grove Dictionary of Art xxiii.329-30, s.v. ‘Obelisk’.) The present work most likely commemorates the additional contributions of Innocent X to this parade of obelisks: the plate of the Pamphili obelisk atop Bernini’s fountain prints the date of the Fountain’s dedication, 12 June 1651, thus providing a terminus post-quem. A terminus ante-quem is safely provided by the death-date of the dedicatee, Cardinal Girolamo Colonna (d. 1666), appropriate as the dedicatee not only because of the monuments associated with his family illustrated in this work but because of the pun on his name (Column).  

Berlin Katalog (3620=2617) lists a 1650 related title from Bartolomeo Rossi which includes material on obelisks among other antiquities: Ornamenti degl’ Obelischi et Colonne di Roma; the Berlin Katalog entry claims this is an abbreviated version of Ornamenti di fabriche antichi et moderni  di Roma (1600). We have not located a copy of the 1650 title, but we have found a single copy of the 1600 edition (University of Illinois Urbana- Champaign): the dimensions and subjects of the plates are identical to ours, though in keeping with its more general title, it includes subjects other than obelisks and columns (fountains, funeral apparatus of Alessandro Farnese, etc.). And of course, neither the 1600 edition nor that of 1650 has the plate of the Pamphili Obelisk, as the latter was only dedicated in 1651.

Positively, the present copy was checked against the Princeton copy of this work, and it is identical. OCLC lists this title at NYPL, Duke and Princeton. We have also located copies at the NGA, JH, Avery, Emory and the Getty.



* Kissner 1014; Princeton Marquand SA/NA 9400/R73f; Grafton ed., Rome Reborn, 118ff.; no mention in exhaustive bibliography of Cesare d’Onofrio, Obelischi in Roma (3rd. ed. 1988); Getty NA 1120.6.N93 1655; Thieme-Becker XXIX.53; E.P. Goldschmidt Catalogue 150, part 2, pp. 100-101, 2; Berlin Kat. 3620 gives a slightly different title (Ornamenti degl’obelischi et colonne), dated 1650, with only 14 plates, and claims that this is an abridgement of a yet earlier Ornamenti di Fabriche Antichi et Moderni…di Roma…da Bartolomeo Rossi…

Price: $6,850.00