Skip to main content
Item #41187 Le Delizie della Villa di Castellazzo Descritte in Verso. Domenico Felice LEONARDI, Marc Antonio DEL RÉ, fl. c. 1743.
Le Delizie della Villa di Castellazzo Descritte in Verso
Le Delizie della Villa di Castellazzo Descritte in Verso
Le Delizie della Villa di Castellazzo Descritte in Verso
Le Delizie della Villa di Castellazzo Descritte in Verso
Le Delizie della Villa di Castellazzo Descritte in Verso
Le Delizie della Villa di Castellazzo Descritte in Verso
Le Delizie della Villa di Castellazzo Descritte in Verso
Le Delizie della Villa di Castellazzo Descritte in Verso

Le Delizie della Villa di Castellazzo Descritte in Verso

Milan: Giuseppe Richino Malatesta, 1743. Folio. (14 3/8 x 9 1/4 inches). 24 double-page engraved plates coloured by a contemporary hand, with painted gold borders, mounted on guards.

Contemporary calf backed yellow marbled boards, spine with gilt ruled raised bands, tan morocco label lettered in gilt. Within blue clamshell cloth box

First edition of this exquisitely illustrated work, both a splendid celebration and a precious record of Villa Arconati and its transformation.

The tradition of opulent villas in Lombardy, akin to those in Veneto, is deeply rooted in the region's historical, cultural, and architectural evolution. These villas not only represented architectural feats but also served as significant markers of the societal aspirations, cultural shifts, and artistic trends of their time. The Villa Arconati in Castellazzo de Bollate stands as a remarkable exemplar of this tradition. As a masterpiece of architectural innovation and design, it captures the essence of Lombardy's villa culture while its Palladian architectural elements, coupled with Austrian influences, reflects the interconnectedness of 17th and 18th century European architectural trends. Under the direction of Count Galeazzo Arconati, an elaborate garden in the Italian style took root at the Castellazzo estate in 1627. As time ushered in change, however, the gardens underwent a redesign under the skilled hands of the Frenchman Jean Jauda. Jauda's artistry was apparent in his adept fusion of contemporary trends with the garden's original Renaissance blueprint. This metamorphosis brought forth a sprawling parterre, a reimagined layout of groves, and the meticulous artistry of topiary, all of which bore the unmistakable influence of Dezallier d'Argenville's groundbreaking work, La Théorie et la Pratique du Jardinage. Thus, the very fabric of the gardens, from the intricate construction of palisades to other vegetal architectural elements, echoed the French garden aesthetics from the Grand Siècle. The new gardens were celebrated in a publication with engravings by Del Re, a prominent engraver and architect based in Milan. Del Re had compiled an illustrated description of the luxury villas in the outskirts of Milan, published as the Ville de Delizie in 1743, and it included the Villa Arconati. Inspired by Del Re's work, Leonardi compiled the present separate publication focusing on the Villa Arconati alone, giving it a fuller description and a greater number of illustrations. Notably, Leonardi allows readers glimpses at a whimsical rococo zoo, an example of the 18th-century tradition that brings to the gardens exotic animals or fantastical animal sculptures to evoke a sense of wonder and delight in visitors. The work also features depictions of sculpture and picture galleries, which points to the residents' participation in the enduring tradition of collecting for the kunstkammer or, in the Italian tradition, the studiolo, museo, or galleria. Leonardi's inclusion of these interior vignettes widens the lens of a book of garden landscapes, hinting at the tangible connections these spaces held with the broader tapestry of artistic and cultural endeavours. As the scenes unfold within these private sanctuaries, the pages speak not only of the villa's magnificence but also resonate with a larger narrative of intellectual curiosity. In this, Leonardi's deliberate curation transcends the confines of gardens and interiors, weaving a narrative thread that intertwines with the long eighteenth century's spirit of exploration, enlightenment, and the insatiable pursuit of knowledge, beauty, and the extraordinary.

G. Masson, Italian Gardens, 1987, p.252; Cicognara 4030; Berlin Katalog 3496; Millard IV, 33.

Item #41187

Price: $75,000.00