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Felsina Pittrice. Vite de pittori bolognesi alla Maestà Christianissima di Luigi XIIII Re di Francia e di Navarra il Sempre Vittorioso consagrata
Two parts in one volume, 4to (239x168 mm); contemporary vellum over boards, spine with five raised bands and inked title, panels with blind-tooled center- and corner-pieces within a double frame (back panel stained); [16], 581, [1] pp.; [4], 606, [2] pp. With an allegorical woodcut of Bologna at the end of the first part, 50 full-page woodcut portraits within elaborate frames (8 frames are left blank, even though the name of the artist is mentioned below), and several other illustrations in text (allegorical and mythological figures, the genealogical tree of the Carracci family, the funeral apparatuses for Agostino Carracci, etc.). As in most copies, the leaf of approbations, "extremely rare" according to Frati (see below), is not present. On the title-page ownership's inscription by the celebrated English painter Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792). A very good, genuine copy.FIRST EDITION, early issue with the name of the sponsor of the edition, Giovanni Francesco Davico, on the title-page, and with the famous insult towards Raphael (p. 471, line 14), called "Boccalaio Urbinate", which was subsequently corrected in "gran Raffaele".The Felsina Pittrice is the most important history of modern Bolognese painting. It deals with the life and works of celebrated Bologna artists such as F. and G.B. Francia, M.A. Raimondi, F. Primaticcio, G.L. Valesio, F. Albani, D. Zampieri, and S. Contarini. Of particular length and relevance are the parts dedicated to Guido Reni, Agostino Mitelli, the Procaccinis (Ercole, Camillo, G. Cesare and Carlo Antonio) and the Carraccis (Lodovico, Agostino, Annibale and Antonio). A third volume of additions was edited by Luigi Crespi in Rome in 1769.Carlo Cesare Malvasia is considered as the most rimportant historian of the Bologna painting school. He dedicated to Bologna a volume of Pitture di Bologna (1686) and a city guide that was reprinted several times until the end of the 18th century. Of noble family, Malvasia was a pupil of the painters Giacinto Campana and Giacomo Cavedone. In 1639 he made the acquaintance in Rome of Cardinal Bernardino Spada, a great art mecenas and collectionist, and the sculptor Alessandro Algardi. Malvasia taught law at the Bologna University and later gained a doctorate in theology, becoming canon at the chapter of the cathedral.The present copy comes from the library of Joshua Reynolds, one of the most influential English painters and theorists of his time, specialising in portraits. He was also a founder and first president of the Royal Academy of Arts. He was knighted by George III in 1769.Reynolds was deeply influenced by Italian painters and Italian art theorists. He spoke Italian fluently and had in his library a copy of the Vocabolario della Crusca. "Among the Italian art literature that Reynolds studied particularly intensively was Carlo Cesare Malvasia's Felsina Pittrice (1678) and his Pitture di Bologna (1686). This explains, to an extent, the importance Reynolds attached to Bolognese paintings in his Discourses. Whereas we can only presume that Reynolds possessed a copy of the Felsina Pittrice because he directly quoted from it in his Discourses, Pitture di Bologna was listed twice in the auction of his library at Philipp's" (I. Wenderholm, The President as a Reader: Reynolds and Books, in: "The Artist as Reader: On Education and Non-Education of Early Modern Artists", H. Damm, M. Thimann & C. Zittel, eds., Leyden, 2013, p. 214).S. Piantanida, L. Diotallevi & G. Livraghi, Libreria Vinciana, Autori italiani del Seicento, Milan, 1951, no. 4381; J. Schlosser Magnino, La letteratura artistica, Florence, 1967, p. 529 and 579; C. Lozzi, Biblioteca istorica della antica e nuova Italia, Imola, 1886, no. 654; L. Frati, Opere della bibliografia bolognese, Bologna, 1889, nos. 7736-7740.
      [Bookseller: Govi Rare Books LLC]
Last Found On: 2017-09-14           Check availability:      Biblio    

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