[Festival culture in Baroque Palermo] Vio, Ignazio de (1659-1749). L’Emporio delle glorie palermitane... Palermo, Domenico Cortese, 1704.

[Festival culture in Baroque Palermo] Vio, Ignazio de (1659-1749). L’Emporio delle glorie palermitane... Palermo, Domenico Cortese, 1704.

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Vio, Ignazio de (1659-1749).

L’Emporio delle glorie palermitane, o vero il compendio di molti pregi della Città di Palermo, consecrato a S. Rosalia Vergine Palermitana, nella solennità di quest’anno 1704.... 

Palermo, Domenico Cortese, 1704.

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Festival culture in Baroque Palermo

Vio, Ignazio de (1659-1749).

L’Emporio delle glorie palermitane, o vero il compendio di molti pregi della Città di Palermo, consecrato a S. Rosalia Vergine Palermitana, nella solennità di quest’anno 1704.... Palermo, Domenico Cortese, 1704.

4° (183x129 mm). [4], 138, [2] pages. Four engraved folding plates, signed 'D. Paulus Amato Ingignerius inventor'. Decorated woodcut initials and tailpieces. Modern gilt-tooled morocco. A good copy, some foxing and staining. Upper margin slightly trimmed but not affecting the text. Some marginal repairs, small restored hole on fol. D8, with loss of a few letters.

First edition of this work describing the magnificent religious festival held in Palermo in 1704 in honour of the city's patron saint, St. Rosalia, who, according to local tradition, had saved the city from the plague (see no. 204). The text is attributed in the dedicatory epistle to the Jesuit Ignazio de Vio, teacher of theology, mathematics, and Hebrew. Between 1693 and 1704 he published several works on the festival of Santa Rosalia, which, initiated in 1625, began on 12 July and lasted four days. The cult of the patron saint was strongly supported by the Jesuits, who were directly involved – as this publication testifies – in the organisation of processions and other festivities.

The volume is supplemented with four fine plates, which are signed by the leading architect, engineer, and painter Paolo Amato (1634-1714), the designer and inventor of all the spectacular ephemeral structures or apparati. Amato was in charge of the fabulous decorations for almost all festivities commissioned by the Senate of Palermo between the 1680s and 1714, the year of his death. One of the folding plates is especially impressive: it measures 1098 mm in length, and shows a procession of chariots looking like galleons. The other plates are also of great interest, depicting various ephemeral structures used in the festival, such as an incredible firework machine built as a castle on an island surrounded by boats and elaborate church apparati.

“Con la llegada de la dinastia Borbón al solio español, el festino se enriquecerà con nuovos tipos de decoración; en los palacios públicos y privados, arcos triumfales, etc. Así los vemos en las últimas celebraciones del Palermo español, entre 1701 y 1713 [...] En 1704 el carro de la santa fue sostituido por un simulacro del Bucintoro de Venecia y la máquina de fuegos se presentó come un castillo sobre una isla, rodeado de barcos” (La fiesta barroca, p. 123).

Melzi I, 355; Biblioteca centrale della Regione siciliana “Alberto Bombace”, Sanctae Rosaliae Dicata, Bibliografia cronologica su Santa Rosalia, September 2004, p. 58; S. di Fede, “La festa barocca a Palermo: città, architetture, istituzioni”, Espacio, Tiempo y Forma, series VII, 18-19 (2005-2006), p. 65; M. Cornelles, V. Manuel et al. (eds.), La fiesta barroca. Los reinos de Nápoles y Sicilia (1535-1713), Palermo 2014, pp. 111-123; F. Checa Cremades - L. Férnandez-González, Festival Culture in the World of the Spanish Habsburgs, Farnham 2015, pp. 229-231; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 222.

 
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