ZOCCHI, Giuseppe (1711-1767)
Veduta dello Spedale, e della Piazza di S. Maria Nuova. T.XVI
Florence: 1744. Copper-engraving by Bernardo Sgrilli after Zocchi, the figures by Zocchi. Sheet size: 21 7/8 x 29 1/4 inches.
A very fine image of 18th-century Florence by one of the four greatest view painters of the period.
`The Hospital and Piazza of Santa Maria Nuova… The portico which renders this piazza one of the most beautiful in Florence was designed by Bernardo Buontalenti. The construction of the loggia progressed at slow and infrequent intervals: the first campaign took place 1612-16 under the direction of Giuilio Parigi, the second 1661-63, the third 1707-10, and a three-arched projecting arm, corresponding to that on the right [of the print]…, was finished only in 1960. The hospital was founded by Folco Portinari (the father of Dante's Beatrice) about 1286, adjacent to the church of San Egidio. The main entrance to both is through the loggia.' (E.E.Dee Views of Florence and Tuscany by Giuseppe Zocchi New York: Pierpont Morgan Library, 1968 item 18). What Francesco Guardi and Canaletto did for Venice and Giovanni-Battista Piranesi did for Rome, Giuseppe Zocchi (1711-1767) did for Florence. The Marchese Andrea Gerini commissioned Zocchi to record all the greatest landmarks in Florence and its environs, which he did in a series of drawings that are now in the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York. These drawings were translated into engravings by Zocchi and a number of other engravers and issued in two series in 1744 titled `Scelta XXIV vedute delle principali contrade, piazze, chiese, e palazzi della città di Firenze' and Vedute delle ville e d'altri luoghi della Toscana'. Little is known of Zocchi's life: he was born near Florence and studied in Venice and Bologna, a painter as well as a draughtsman, he was the official designer for the Pietre Dure (the so-called "Florentine mosaic") factory in Florence from 1754 to 1760.