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PIRANESI, Giovanni Battista (1720--1778)
Di due spelonche ornate dagli antichi alla riva del Lago Albano.
[Rome]: [G.B. Piranesi], [1762].
9, [1] p., XII etch. pl. (1 fold.) : etch. illus. ; 54.5 cm. (1°)

The title is taken from the drop-head title on p. [1]. Piranesi intended that this account of two ornately decorated subterranean chambers or grottoes at Lake Albano should form a supplement to his Descrizione e disegno dell'emissario del Lago Albano (q.v.), which had first appeared sometime between April and August 1762. Initial publication of Di due spelonche is datable to the autumn of 1762 on the basis of an approbatio granted on 30 August of that year. The final four plates may however have been added in 1764 when this work seems to have been re-issued (together with the Descrizione) in combination with Piranesi's Antichità d'Albano e di Castel Gandolfo (q.v.). According to an anecdote related by Piranesi's biographer J.G. Legrand, the artist was arrested and almost lynched while sketching one of the grottoes depicted in this work. Furious locals apparently mistook him for an evil magician responsible for conjuring up recent violent storms in the region (see Nouvelle de l'Estampe, V, 1969, p.207, cited BAL Early printed works, no. 2554, Notes).

Copy Notes Bound (3) after Antichità d' Albano, 1764 and Descrizione e disegno dell' emissario del Lago Albano, [1762].

Binding C19th calf, gilt-ruled borders, gilt-ruled spine, red spine-label lettered in gilt 'Piranesi / Antichit. / di / Albano'. Part of a 12-volume set re-bound by Hood and McCullock, to whom Soane paid £24 on 3 July 1826. (Archive 16/12/38).

Reference Number 6411


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