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Le Sette Chiese di Roma con le loro principali - ROME, PILGRIMAGE MAP - 1666. 
Rome: Giovanni Giacomo de Rossi, 1666. Broadsheet, platemark 367 x 480 mm., sheet size 394 x 517 mm. Large etched and engraved view-plan of the seven main pilgrimage churches of Rome (plus two), by an anonymous engraver, showing Saint Peter's in the foreground, and the Tiber arching behind it, the other churches on the opposite side of the Tiber, each with a descriptive caption etched within a banner; showing the Roman wall with its labeled gates, inset roundels of saints, at top center an oval medallion portrait of Pope Alexander VII, at lower left the dedication to Giovanni Lucido Palombara, Bishop of Pesaro, with his arms, and at lower right a small schematic map of the pilgrimage circuit. Imprint at lower center right "Si Stampano in Roma da Gio. Iacomo de Rossi alla pace." Very good impression; small patch repair on verso at fold near stub, small hole at fold juncture, some creasing, light foxing mainly in upper margin. Folded and tipped to a stub bound between two modern guard leaves in modern wrappers. Provenance: Countess Anna Laetitia Pecci-Blunt, purple inkstamp in lower right margin and larger inkstamp on verso.***Saint Filippo Neri was the first to codify, in 1552 or 1553, the pilgrimage circuit of seven Roman churches for the Jubilee years, although the practice had existed for several centuries. The churches included the four major basilicas: St. Peter's, St. Giovanni Laterano, San Paolo fuori le mura, and Santa Maria Maggiore, as well as three churches containing important relics: Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, San Sebastiano fuori le mura, and San Lorenzo fuori le mura. Two smaller churches, included in this broadside at upper right, were sometimes added to the itinerary, Santi Vincenzo e Anastasie alle Tre Fontane, and Santa Maria dell'Annunziatella. The pilgrimage to these rather far-flung sites usually required two days. While the tour of the churches was not obligatory, it was encouraged, and was particularly practiced by Popes. In the Jubilee year of 1600, the year this bird's-eye view plan first appeared, Pope Clement VIII made the circuit several times, thus encouraging followers. The church tour became an organized jaunt, with stops along the way for lunch and pauses for meditation.Rather than a plan or a view, this engraving is an abstract depiction of the pilgrimage, showing the churches in isolation, with only passing visual allusions - the Tiber, the Roman wall, one ancient ruin, a few hills and trees - to the surrounding city. Descriptive lists of the principal relics of each church are provided in the captions. The earliest version of the broadside (with Latin title Septem urbis ecclesiae ...) was engraved in 1599 by Giacomo Lauro after Antonio Tempesta for the Jubilee year of 1600. Reprints or re-engravings followed, in 1609(?), 1621, 1630 and 1636. The present edition, published by de Rossi, is datable by the dedication to Giovanni Lucido Palombara, Bishop of Pesaro from 1658 to 1666, and by the medallion portrait of Pope Alexander VII (1655-1667). It contains new details such as the small numbered guide-map at lower right, showing the order of the itinerary, but its most significant modification is to the appearance of St. Peter's: this is the first version to show the colonnade of the Piazza, designed by Bernini in 1656-1657 but not completed until 1669; and most interestingly it includes a third, shorter part of the colonnade, the famous "terzo braccio," which was never built. Countess Anna Laetitia Pecci-Blunt (1885-1971), patron of the arts, philanthropist, and collector, assembled an important art collection on Rome, including views, maps, and prints. During the Mussolini years, the collection came to be known among the cognoscenti as "Roma Sparita" (vanished Rome). Pecci-Blunt left her drawings, watercolors and paintings to the city of Rome, but her prints and books were dispersed by sale. Marigliani, Le piante di Roma delle collezioni private dal XV al XX secolo (Rome 2007), 574. Uncommon: OCLC lists copies at the British Museum (online collections, 1859,1210.1022), Univ. of Hannover (ascribed date 1650); and the Hague, Natl Library (reimpression?, ascribed date 1680); and a copy of the 1630 edition at Boston Public Library.
[Bookseller: Musinsky Rare Books, Inc.]
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