Rome: Gio. Giacomo de Rossi, 1648. Compelling seventeenth-century drawing manual, one of the earliest printed in Italy. Opening with images of the human eye, the manual examines the anatomy of other isolated features, then turns to character studies of various ages and types in action. Especially striking are the plates of a man's back tensing as he draws a bow (15), an elaborately coiffed woman reading a book (18), and a girl lighting a candle (21). The copper engravings are by Oliviero Gatti of Bologna after designs by the young Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, 1591-1666), the Italian Baroque painter known for his fluid, naturalistic early style. Although the engraved title page is dated 1619, the imprint of Giovanni Giacomo de Rossi in the lower right corner indicates a mid-century date. A very good wide-margined copy of an evocative book, in a contemporary binding. Single broadsheet volume, comprising 22 numbered copper-engraved plates bound in full contemporary limp vellum. Engraved title page with dedication to the Duke of Mantua numbered 1. Contemporary ink ownership inscription to interior of front cover, slip of paper with pencil drawings after plate 2 laid in. Wear and staining to vellum, endpapers lightly foxed, front hinge reinforced. Faint tidemark to lower margin not affecting plates, stray marks indicating signs of use, though not affecting plates, with the exception of one spot to plate 14.
(Inventory #: 1001345)
540 President Street, 3rd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Literature and the lively arts, design and decoration, cultural history.
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