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PIRANESI, Giovanni Battista (1720--1778)
Opere varie di architettura prospettive grotteschi antichità sul gusto degli antichi Romani inventate, ed incise da Gio. Batista Piranesi architetto Veneziano
Roma,, si vendono presso l'autore nel palazzo del Signor Conte Tomati su la strada Felice alla Trinità de' Monti. 1750 [i.e. c. 1770-75].
Bound in one vol. ; 51.5 cm. (1°)

According to Andrew Robison copies of the Opere varie matching that described here, in which pl. [17-27] following on from the Prima parte are still in an un-numbered state, represent an issue dating from around the early 1770s (see Andrew Robison, Piranesi early architectural fantasies: a catalogue raisonné of the etchings, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, 1986, p. 213, referring to this copy). Giovanni Bouchard - a French-born bookseller on the Via del Corso who handled Piranesi's output until 1758 - had begun to issue combinations of the artist's works in 1750 under the collective title of Opere varie, the wording of which was broad enough to cover 'bespoke' sets put together as required.

The various series combined in the Opere varie are catalogued in more detail under their respective titles. The Soane copy of the early 1770s issue is arranged as follows:

Opere varie letterpress title-page reading as above, printed in red and black, with etched vignette signed bottom left 'Piranesi fecit.' [Hind, Piranesi, p. 82; Robison 28 ii/ii: 'Classical Ruins with a View of the Sea']

[1] Prima parte di architetture, e prospettive (q.v.): etched title-pl., [16] etch. pl. (numbered 1-14 with 2 unnumbered) [Robison 1-3, 5-12, 15-20; 2nd ed., 5th issue]

[2] Untitled series of ten small imaginary views of ancient Roman buildings printed in pairs on five sheets in which the lower (or, in one case righthand), impressions only were subsequently numbered 17-18, [19], 20-21 in a later state. Five are reprinted (with altered captions and some re-working) from Piranesi's Lettere di giustificazione scritte a Milord Charlemont, 1757 (four of these are much reduced versions of the frontispieces to vols I--IV of Le antichità Romane, 1756, q.v.). The other five however make their first and only appearance in post-1758 issues of the Opere varie and are captioned as follows: [lower pl. 17] 'Ingresso d'un antico ginnasio' (Ficacci 403); [upper pl.18] 'Appartenenze d'antiche terme con scale ...' (Ficacci 406); [lower pl.19] 'Portici tirati dinterno ad un Foro con palazzo regio' (Ficacci 407); [upper pl.19] within image 'Scuola antica architettata all'Egiziana e alla Greca' (Ficacci 408); [righthand pl. 21] 'Idea d'un atrio reale' (Ficacci 411). See also Hind, pp. 80 & 84.

'Pianta di ampio magnifico Collegio ...': [1] double-page etched pl. [Robison 25 state iv/vii] (numbered 22 in later state)

'Parte di ampio magnifico Porto ...': [1] double-page etch. pl. [Robison 26 state iv/viii] (numbered 23 in later state)

[3] [Grotteschi] (q.v.): [4] double-page etch. pl. [Robison 21-24; 2nd ed., 5th issue] (numbered 24-27 in later state)

[4] Carceri d'invenzione ... (q.v.): 16 double-page etch. pl. (incl. t.-pl.) numbered I-XVI [Robison 29-44; 2nd ed., 3rd issue (title-pl. state vii/ix, pl. XVI state iii/vi)]. Plates II and V were first added to 2nd ed., 2nd issue (1761), and included all later issues.

[5] Trofei di Ottaviano Avgvsto ... (q.v.): [9] etch. pl. (5 double-page). Lacking the title-page or plate?

[6] Antichità Romane de' tempi della Repubblica, ... (q.v.): pt 1: [16] etch. pl. (incl. t.-pl., engr. dedic. pl., 2 pl. of inscriptions); pt 2: [14] etch. pl. (incl. t.-pl.)

Copy Notes With the Trofei possibly lacking either the original 1753 letterpress title-page or the post-January 1767 title-plate. Un-numbered pl. [15-16] of the Prima parte are misbound between pl. 6 and 7. Inscribed in pencil on front paste-down 86 Plates and on rear paste-down 86 Brilliant Plates / only 4.18.0.

Binding C18th half sheep, marbled paper boards, red morocco spine-label gilt-lettered 'Piranesi / Opera / Varie'.

Reference Number 6447

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