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Vedute delle ville, e d'altri loghi della Toscana - ZOCCHI, Giuseppe - 1757. 
Giuseppe Bouchard Florence 1757 - Landscape folio (390x 58cm). Etched title and 50 etched plates of the villas of Tuscany after Zocchi by Piranesi and other, mostly Italian, engravers; occasional very minor soiling. Contemporary mottled calf, spine gilt, red morocco label, neat repairs to joints and edges. A complete set of the finest pictorial record of Tuscany in the eighteenth century - a fine example. Zocchi, a painter, draftsman, and etcher, was the protege of Gerini who commissioned these prints and also paid for his artistic education in Rome, Bologna, and Lombardy. Although he painted easel and mural paintings, Zocchi's oeuvre is richest in drawings and prints. The third (second Bouchard) edition. The first was published in 1744 and a second (the first published by Bouchard) in 1754. The fine plates show Tuscan villas set in gardens and surrounding landscape. The scenes are enlivened by human and animal activity, often of a humorous nature: a man fights to control his cloak whilst his hat is whisked away by a Tuscan hill-top wind, etc. Seen as straight-forward images, the plates depict important villas and gardens in Tuscany set against the strikingly bucolic scenery of the region; seen with an intelligent eye, the work is a powerful example of politcal art with the engravings carrying pro-Tuscan, and specifically pro-Florentine messages. After the death of Grand Duke Gian Castone in 1737, the duchy devolved to a regency under imperial command which caused tensions with the local nobility. These views provide a stocktaking of Tuscan villas during this period alongside efforts to balance the differing aims of the Imperial court, the resident government, and the local owners. Thus bridges illustrate the good transportation network of Tuscany, the fortifications in the background illustrate the security of the land, the activities of the local inhabitants along the shores of the Arno their industriousness and peacefulness and serenity of country life among the aristocrats are intended as worldly illustrations of a social life that would recall famous visitors and great parties. Millard, Italian Books, 169; Berlin Katalog 2701. [Attributes: Hard Cover]
[Bookseller: Shapero Rare Books]
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