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NOLLI, Giambattista (1701--1756)
Nuova pianta di Roma data in luce da Giambattista Nolli l'anno M DCC XLVIII
[Rome]: [1773].
Etch. t.-pl., [2], 32 [i.e. 20] engr. pl. ; 51.4 cm. (2°)

Giambattista Nolli's influential ichnographic plan of Rome, based on survey work and drawings carried out between 1736 and 1744 by Nolli with the assistance of Giovanni Battista Piranesi and Stefano Pozzi, was first issued in 1748 and is considered one of the most important historical documents about the city, not only recording the streets, squares and urban spaces of Rome, but rendering hundreds of building interiors with detailed plans of public buildings and churches. The map proper is made up of twelve double-page plates numbered 5--28, each copper bearing two numbers top left and top right. Following the etched title-plate is a single plate containing an engraved 'Avviso Al Lettore' and list of the 'Rioni Di Roma'; the 'Avviso' gives directions for the use of two sets of engraved indexes printed on single-page plates numbered 1--4 ('Indice De Numeri ...') and 29--32 ('Indice Alfabetico ...'), if the plan is bound as a volume rather than joined together as a single sheet. As originally issued, the work was completed by two further double-page plates, initially unnumbered but later numbered 33-34 and 35-36. The first of these is a reduced plan showing the entire 'Pianta' at one twelfth of the scale with views of buildings, with the title 'La Topografia Di Roma ...' incised on the pedestal of Trajan's column, and a cartouche top left with a dedication to Cardinal Alessandro Albani dated 'Roma il di primo del 1748' and signed by Nolli. The second is a reinterpretation by Nolli of Leonardo Bufalino's plan of Rome of 1551. The Soane copy represents a later impression of the plates as issued in or after 1773 when the work was republished in Rome. The plan and index plates, with some coppers in a second state probably dating to the 1750s (see BAL 2311), having many of the plate numbers removed and re-etched and plate 15-16 altered to include an 'Avvertimento' about the plan's orientation above the imprint line in the top right corner, were reprinted without alteration. The watermark in the Soane copy is a head within a double circle with 'PETRUS' underneath (see Heawood, Watermarks, no. 2608). The reduced 'Topografia Di Roma' plate, which was probably available separately and reprinted more often than the large 'Pianta', was re-engraved with minor changes and with a new dedication to Cardinal Gio. Carlo Boschi, dated 'Roma il di primo di 1773' and signed 'Ignazio Benedetti'. The Bufalini plate (pl. 35-36) is lacking from the Soane copy and not counted in the collation above. See BAL, Early printed books, no. 2311; M. Bevilacqua, Roma nel secolo dei lumi (Napoli 1998), p. 276 no. 7; Allan Ceen, 'Giambattista Nolli', in E.P. Bowron and J.J. Rishel (eds.), Art in Rome in the eighteenth century (Philadelphia 2000), pp. 137-139; M. Frutaz, Le piante di Roma (Roma 1962), v. 1, pp. 231-7, pl. 383-420; M.D. Sánchez-Jáuregui and Scott Wilcox (eds.), The English prize: the capture of the Westmorland, an episode of the grand tour (New Haven 2012), pp. 279--81, no. 113. See also The Interactive Nolli Map. (Accessed 3 August 2012).

Copy Notes The Soane copy as described lacks the plate containing Nolli's reinterpretation of Leonardo Bufalino's Rome plan of 1551 issued as part of the present work, initially unnumbered and later as pl. 35-36. The unnumbered small plan 'Topografia Di Roma' is bound to follow the title and 'Avviso' plates, and the index plates numbered 1--4 are bound at the end following the index plates 29--32.

Binding C19th quarter sheep, blue paper boards, gilt-ruled spine, black morocco spine-label. This is probably the 'Pianta di Roma Impl. folio 1/2 bound & letter'd' bound by Peter Low for 9s., 28 August 1807. (Spiers Box).

Reference Number 6692


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