1661 · Florence, Italy
The most arresting of the three Della Bella etchings taken from the festival book Il mondo festiggiante (1661), which describes the marriage festival, entries and equestrian ballets composed in honor of the marriage of Cosimo II Grand Duke of Tuscany to Margherita Luisa d'Orleans, June 1661. This plate pictures a backdrop constructed for the huge half-oval behind the Pitti Palace. A circle of obelisks is placed at the center. Groups of decorated coaches are surrounded by foot soldiers and a circle of riders. Atlas with the heavens on his shoulders is most visible in the center of the etchings, having come to tell those on earth that Hercules, along with the sun god Apollo and the goddess of the moon Diana, has descended from heaven to attend these nuptials.
Reference: de Vesme Della Bella 7-72; Sonneck pp. 446-7; Sartori, C. Libretti italiani 15890; Berlin Ornamentstichsammlung 3049; Strong, Roy. Art & Power; DeVseme/Marrar 71; Blum 92a. (Inventory #: 0267)