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RUBENS, Sir Peter Paul (1577--1640)
[Palazzi di Genova. 1622]
Palazzi di Genova.
[Antwerp]: [Plantin], [1622].
2 pts in 1 vol. ; 43.7 cm. (1°)
[1]: [6] p., engr. frontis., 72 pl. (= 73 impressions)
[2]: [2] p., 67 pl. (2 fold.)

The title-page supplies a title only; the name of the compiler, 'Pietro Paulo Rubens', and the date and place of publication are found in the Italian dedication and address to the reader and the Latin imprimatur. Although traditionally attributed to Rubens, the plates are not by him and his dedication to Don Carlo Grimaldi in part [1], dated 'D'Anversa, alli 29. di Maggio, 1622.', reflects his role as editor of the designs collected and published in the work, which was printed at the Plantin press in Antwerp. The plates in part [1] show plans, elevations and sections of twelve Genoese palazzi and villas built between 1548 and 1571 by Galeazzo Alessi and others, mostly distinguished only by being grouped under a single letter, as follows: pl. 1-8: A [palazzo Carrega Cataldi]; 9-13: B [villa Giustiniani Cambiaso]; 14-19: C [villa Spinola di San Pietro]; 20-28: D [villa Grimaldi 'Fortezza']; 29-34: E [villa Pallavicino Delle Peschiere]; 35-42: F [palazzo Spinola]; 43-48: G [palazzo Interiano Pallavicini]; 49-52: H [villa Grimaldi Sauli]; 53-60: I [palazzo Rostan Raggio]; 61-66: K [palazzo Lercari Parodi]; 67-69: [unlettered] [palazzi Doria Tursi and Cambiaso]. Plate 69 consists of two separate coppers numbered '69'; plates 70--72 contain addenda to earlier plates. The second series of plates in part [2], designated in subsequent editions in 1652 and 1663 (q.v.) as containing the 'Palazzi Moderni' as opposed to the 'Palazzi Antichi', is prefaced here merely by a repetition of the title-leaf to the first part as transcribed above; the plates bear identifying legends. It was probably first published somewhat later than 1622, possibly around 1625 in conjunction with a reprinting of the first series; see note to BAL, Early printed books, no. 4041 and 4042 (describing the 1663 edition). The original drawings collected by Rubens for this work are held in the RIBA Drawings Collection (see Catalogue O-R, 1976, pp. 158--73, for a detailed description and analysis). Millard III, 108; Berlin Kat. 2657.

Copy Notes Copy 1: Imperfect; wanting the engraved frontispiece.
Copy 2: 48.3 cm. Part [1] only. Imperfect; wanting frontispiece and plates 16, 31, 48, 40, 51, 60, 67 and 68. Mounted on 19th-century wove-paper album sheets throughout, the plates trimmed to or within the plate-mark. Bound in at the front is a sheet bearing on its verso a plan drawing with scale and measurements inscribed 6th March 1821. The inscription, and probably the drawing itself, is in the hand of Soane's pupil Arthur Mee. Soane's Day Book for 1819--21 records on Tuesday, 6 March 1821: Mr Soane / About Drawings / for the Alterations at L.I.F. / Mee / Papendiek. The precise subject of the drawing is, as yet, unidentified but it was probably made in connection with alterations to the Lower Office at 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields which Soane was working on at this time. (SNB, February 1821). It would appear that the sheet bearing Mee's drawing was re-utilised on this occasion as a suitably sturdy free-front endpaper for the album when it was rebound in 1823.

Binding Copy 1: C17th vellum, spine-title in ink reading 'Palazzi / di / Genova', green fore-edges. This binding may suggest a provenance from the library of the C17th Italian art patron and collector Cassiano dal Pozzo (1588--1657), volumes from whose library were often bound in a similar way (personal communication from Ian Campbell, 2003).
Copy 2: C19th half calf, blind roll-tooled borders, marbled-paper boards, thick-thin gilt-ruled spine, black leather spine-label. The album for this copy was half-bound by T. & W. Boone for 10s. on 15 March 1823. (Priv. Corr. XVI.E.5.6).

Reference Number 3245


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