RAPHAEL. Raffaello Sanzio d'Urbino (1483-1520). - Giovanni OTTOVIANI & Giovanni VOLPATO (engravers)
Delle Logge di Rafaele nel Vaticano
Rome: 1772. Large folio. (29 3/4 x 17 1/4 inches). 2pp. letterpress text in French "Aux Amateurs des Beaux Arts" with uncoloured engraved head-piece and initial and colophon at foot of second page. One small format folding plate "Ordine tenuto nel disporre le stampe de pilastri delle logge Rafaele." (7 x 19 1/32 inches), 34 hand-coloured engraved leaves (comprising: 1 general perspective view with title and portrait of Raphael by Volpato after Pietro Camporesi [strip attached at lower edge to bring up to size]; 2 folding plates of doorways by Ottoviani after Gaetano Savorelli and Camporesi [each on two sheets joined, 36 x 17 ¼ inches overall]; 14 views of pilasters on 28 plates by Ottoviani after Savorelli and Camporesi [ the first plate of each view cut to edge of image with strip attached to lower edge to bring up to size]; general plan "Spaccato per il longe del seconde piano del loggia" on three plates by Ottoviani after Savorelli and Camporesi [designed to form a single panoramic image] ). (Lower blank margin of text leaf torn and repaired, small tears to folds of the doorway plates.).
RAPHAEL. - Nicolas DORIGNY (1648-1746, engraver). [Psyches et Amoris nuptiae fabula a Raphaele Sanctio Urbinate Romae in Farnesianis hortis Transtyberim ad veterum aemulationem ac laudem colorum luminibus expressa a... Dorigny... delineata et incisa, et a Ioanne Petro Belloriio notis illustrata.] Rome: Domenico de' Rossi, 1693 [or later]. Large folio (29 3/4 x 17 1/4 inches). 10 hand-coloured engraved plates by Dorigny, titles and imprints printed in gold. 2 works in one volume. Late 18th-century Roman red morocco gilt (contemporary with the first work), covers with elaborate border of dog-tooth roll, double-fillet, and repeated use of a three-flower spray, a heart and a rococo drawer-handle tool, the same tool massed to form a lozenge shape at the corners and forming a triangular motif mid-way up the long sides, with stars, birds and small and large flower-spray tools, all enclosing a large central lozenge formed from an outline of a simpler variant drawer-handle tool and large flower sprays enclosing a center of massed scrolling foliage with pomegranates and acorns, the spine in seventeen sections with raised bands, lettered in the second, the others with repeat decoration of a central flower spray with smaller sprays at the corners, patterned paper pastedowns. (Ties lacking, light worming to head and foot of spine with resultant small tears and loss), modern cloth solander box, morocco lettering-piece on the spine.
A very fine collection with richly hand-coloured plates of the best of the decorative interior work carried out by Raphael in Rome.
The album is hand-coloured and bound in Rome in the fourth quarter of the 18th-century. It is clearly as it was delivered to its original owner (perhaps a Grand-Tourist, perhaps a local dilettanti?) and perfectly echoes his wishes: the first part of Ottoviani's excellent work on Raffaello's Logge frescoes (that is, the part on the pilasters), and including Maitre Dorigny's engravings, but only the Loggia of Psyche set, all hand-coloured and uniform in size.
The first work, part one of three, concentrates on the decorative pilasters executed by Raphael and his assistants, as part of a larger scheme of redecoration between 1518-1519 in the Logge on the main storey of the Vatican apartments. The remarkable prints, the first to be carried out of the decoration of the Logge, were probably planned as early as 1760, but were not executed until 1774 to 1776. The project was carried out by the painter Gaetano Savorelli, the draughtsman Ludovico Teseo, the architect Pietro Camporesi and the engravers Giovanni Ottaviani and Giovanni Volpato. The plates were remarkable not just for their size and magnificent colouring, but also because of the influence they had on contemporary taste. The decision was made to borrow elements from Raphael's Vatican tapestries and insert them where the original frescoes were in too poor a state to be legible. The finished plates therefore represented an amalgam of design elements presented with a crisp freshness of colour that held enormous appeal and did much to stimulate the taste for the grotesque in the neo-classical period.
The second work is of Raphael's Cupid and Psyche series of frescoes, carried out by Raphael between 1516 and 1518 in the Loggia of Psyche in the villa Farnesina in Rome. The series also comes with a title and an eleventh plate of the ceiling fresco in the adjoining Sala di Galatea, executed in 1512: neither the plate nor the title were ever bound in the present collection. Originally published by the Rossis, it is the work of Nicolas Dorigny (1658-1746) who lived and worked in Rome between about 1690 and 1719. The painter, classicist, and art historian Giovanni Pietro Bellori (1613-1696) provided the text at the foot of the plates (appropriate excerpts from Apuleuis's Golden Ass).
"Raphael Invenit: Stampe da Rafaello" (1985) Volpato 1; Ottaviano 2-19 and Dorigny 37-46. Brunet IV, cf.1110 & 1111; Berlin "Kat". Cf.4068 & 4066; "Raphael: Reproduktions-graphik aus vier Jahrhunderten (Coburg 1984) p.104 & no.245; "Giovanni Volpato 1735-1803" (Bassano del Grappa, 1988) 173.