Zompini, Gaetano (1698-1778). Le arti che vanno per via nella città di Venezia.... Venice, 1785 [i.e. London, 1787].

Zompini, Gaetano (1698-1778). Le arti che vanno per via nella città di Venezia.... Venice, 1785 [i.e. London, 1787].

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Zompini, Gaetano (1698-1778).

Le arti che vanno per via nella città di Venezia. Inventate, ed incise del Gaetano Zompini. Aggiuntavi una memoria di detto autore.... 

Venice, 1785 [i.e. London, 1787].

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Daily life in eighteenth-century Venice

Zompini, Gaetano (1698-1778).

Le arti che vanno per via nella città di Venezia. Inventate, ed incise del Gaetano Zompini. Aggiuntavi una memoria di detto autore.... Venice, 1785 [i.e. London, 1787].

Large folio (525x325 mm). Frontispiece, title-page, sixty plates showing Venetian tradesmen, and a final leaf of index, all engraved. Each plate with the English translation on pasted-on slips below the original captions in Venetian dialect. Early twentieth-century half-calf. Spine with five raised bands, gilt-tooled; title in gold on morocco lettering-piece. Upper joint partially cracked. A good copy, repairs to the blank margins of the title-page, tear to the frontispiece and plate no. 6, without any loss. A few marginal foxing.

Third edition – the first to be printed outside of Italy – of this highly original work, which suggests, with vivid immediacy, the harsh realities of daily life for the Venetian people. A painter and engraver from Neversa (Treviso), Zompini was encouraged by the printmaker and collector Anton Maria Zanetti to make a series of drawings of Venetian traders and hawkers (the original drawings are now held at the Correr Museum). Zompini later etched these drawings under Zanetti's supervision, and the series was first published in 1753. The copperplates were later acquired by the antiquarian John Strange (1732-1799), a British resident in Venice between 1773 and 1788, through his delegate Gianmaria Sasso. A second edition was then published in Venice in 1785; this edition introduced a new title-page and was supplemented with a life of Zompini – who had meanwhile died in 1778 – written by Sasso.

A few years later the work was also published in London with English translations of the original verse captions written in Venetian dialect by a certain Questini, priest of Santa Maria Mater Domini and a friend of Zompini and Zanetti. The copies printed in London, as with the present example, have the watermark '71 Lepard'. Some copies also include a letter-press leaf containing the life of the author (Memoria); this is not present in the current copy, a feature which can be explained by the fact that this London issue was intended for an English audience, as evinced by the English captions. Zompini was active as an engraver for the press of Antonio Zatta, and was responsible for the majority of plates included in Zatta's celebrated editions of Dante and Petrarch.

Cicogna 1733; Lipperheide 1330; R. Pallucchini, Incisori veneti, Venezia 1941, pp. 55-56; D. Succi, Da Carlevaris ai Tiepolo, Venezia 1983, pp. 451-461; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 249.


 
 
 
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