FRESCO DECORATIONS AND STUCCOES OF CHURCHES & PALACES IN ITALY, DURING THE FIFTEENTH AND SIXTEENTH CENTURIES. [bound with] DESCRIPTIONS OF THE PLATES . . . WITH AN ESSAY BY J. J. HITTORFF ON THE ARABESQUES OF THE ANCIENTS AS COMPARED WITH THOSE OF RAPHAEL AND HIS SCHOOL.
(London: Thomas McLean, 1854). 578 x 406 mm. (22 3/4 x 16"). 4 p.l. (comprising an engraved title page, printed dedication, preface, and list of plates); xvi, 76 pp. (all of the text in the second work inlaid to size). Two related works (a large folio plate volume and a quarto text volume) bound in one volume. New Edition, "largely augmented by numerous plates, plain and colored."
Decorative contemporary dark brown half morocco, marbled paper sides, broad decorated raised bands, spine elaborately gilt in compartments featuring a very large and complex lozenge composed of antique tools as well as large scrolling cornerpieces, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt (joints possibly, but not certainly, with very expert repairs). First work with illustrated title page and 56 LARGE-FOLIO PLATES, NINE OF THEM ATTRACTIVE CHROMOLITHOGRAPHS, original tissue guards. Avery Architectural Library, p. 414 (citing the edition of 1844). ◆Corners and portions of the board rather rubbed and chafed, some occasional light foxing and other trivial imperfections internally, but still quite an attractive copy, the text and plates clean and pleasing, the binding completely solid, with joints only slightly worn and the spine quite well preserved.
This volume combines a visual survey of major decorative art of the Italian Renaissance with a scholarly account of the same, the latter text published in quarto and here inlaid to the giant folio size of the plate volume. The plates picture some of the best wall decorations and architectural elements of palaces and churches constructed in Italy in the 15th and 16th centuries. Works of Raphael in Rome are featured here, in particular the decoration of the loggias of the papal apartments at the Vatican and of the Villa Madama. The three chromolithographs of the loggias are little short of magnificent. Also included are the wall treatments of the Ducal Palace and Palazzo Te, both in Mantua, by Raphael’s pupil, the mannerist painter Giulio Romano. Among churches, pride of place is given to the elaborately decorated Carthusian monastery, the Certosa of Pavia, by Ambrogio da Fassano and others. The plates are, for the most part, adapted from the work of two German architects, Thürmer and Gutensohn, executed two decades previously, and completed and explicated by Gruner. The final two plates display in brilliant color many small sections of the previous black and white plates, the idea being that purchasers should try their hands at coloring, using this elaborate and colorful chart as a guide (an early owner seems to have made a tentative effort in that direction, with some success, in plates 20 and 44). Wilhelm Heinrich Ludwig Gruner (1801-81) was an art historian specializing in the Italian Renaissance and a designer of great houses, gardens, and furniture, who came to England to advise Prince Albert, the German consort of Queen Victoria, on his decorative projects. The second part of the present volume contains an essay comparing Roman and Renaissance wall painting. Its author, called J. J. Hittorff on the title page, was Jacques Ignace Hittorff (1792-1867), an architect and archaeologist, and the first person to argue that ancient statuary had been brightly colored. (Lhi21156)