Primi elementi della pittura raccolti da vari Auttori per uso di Principati del dissegno, et intagliati ad instanza di Leilo dalla Volpe in Bologna. Art / Drawing / Models, Ludovico MATTIOLI.
Primi elementi della pittura raccolti da vari Auttori per uso di Principati del dissegno, et intagliati ad instanza di Leilo dalla Volpe in Bologna
Primi elementi della pittura raccolti da vari Auttori per uso di Principati del dissegno, et intagliati ad instanza di Leilo dalla Volpe in Bologna
Primi elementi della pittura raccolti da vari Auttori per uso di Principati del dissegno, et intagliati ad instanza di Leilo dalla Volpe in Bologna
Primi elementi della pittura raccolti da vari Auttori per uso di Principati del dissegno, et intagliati ad instanza di Leilo dalla Volpe in Bologna
Primi elementi della pittura raccolti da vari Auttori per uso di Principati del dissegno, et intagliati ad instanza di Leilo dalla Volpe in Bologna
Primi elementi della pittura raccolti da vari Auttori per uso di Principati del dissegno, et intagliati ad instanza di Leilo dalla Volpe in Bologna
Primi elementi della pittura raccolti da vari Auttori per uso di Principati del dissegno, et intagliati ad instanza di Leilo dalla Volpe in Bologna
A Precursor to Piazzetta’s Drawing Manual?
With a Portrait of a Young Black Boy in European Attire
Bologna, Lelio della Volpe, 1728.

Primi elementi della pittura raccolti da vari Auttori per uso di Principati del dissegno, et intagliati ad instanza di Leilo dalla Volpe in Bologna.

Oblong 4to (26 x 36 cm), 24 numbered engraved plates, including allegorical title page. In saddle-stitched carta rustica. Fresh and unrestored copy, with large margins and good inking. Excellent.

The first edition of a rare suite of 23 splendidly engraved plates of drawing models for art students by the Bolognese artist Lodovico Mattioli (1662-1747). The models were adopted from works by Agostino Carracci, Jusepe de Ribera, Federico Barocci, and Carlo Maratti.

The 23 finely executed plates represent a variety of subjects required to master the art of drawing people, including anatomical details of the human body and different types of portraits. Particularly notable is a portrait of a young black boy in European attire (no. 14) -- an indication of a sustained interest and demand for images of black people in Italian eighteenth-century art. The engraved title page depicts a woman (perhaps, a personification of Minerva, the Goddess of the Arts) sitting still, as if posing for a portrait, with a view of Bologna in the background; at her feet are a head detached from a sculpture and a palette.

Born in Bologna, Ludovico Mattioli (1662-1747) was a pupil of the painter Carlo Cignani and collaborator of Giuseppe Maria Crespi ("the Spaniard"), one of the founders of the Accademia Clementina in Bologna. One can speculate that Mattioli's drawing manual might have been a predecessor to the more famous Studi di Pittura of Piazzetta, first published (posthumously) in Venice in 1760 and illustrated by Pitteri. Though a generation apart, Giambattista Piazzetta (1682-1754), like Mattioli, was  a student of Giuseppe Maria Crespi and a member of the Accademia Clementina. It is very probable that in a small city like Bologna both artists knew each other and each other’s work as they shared the same teacher and revolved in the same artistic circles.

Specializing in portraits and landscapes, Mattioli was also a prominent book illustrator. He worked on a number of projects with the publisher of this book Lelio della Volpe, including the celebrated edition of Giulio Cesare Croce's Bertoldo con Bertoldino e Cacasenno in ottava rima (1736), considered one of the finest illustrated late-Mannerist books published in Bologna.

In 1750, Mattioli's suite was re-printed in Padua under the title Studio di pittura ad uso de' licei. At least one other edition, published in 1822, is known.

OCLC records only four copies in the U.S.: at NYPL, Getty, Princeton, and the National Gallery of Art.

*The Illustrated Bartsch, Italian Master of the Seventeenth Century, J.T. Spike, New York, 1982, 43 (part 3), p. 178-196, app. 6 (389); “Mattioli, Lodovico,” in Treccani.

Price: $7,500.00