Malvasia, Carlo Cesare (1616-1693). Felsina Pittrice....Bologna, Domenico Barbieri's Heir for Giovanni Francesco Davico, 1678.

Malvasia, Carlo Cesare (1616-1693). Felsina Pittrice....Bologna, Domenico Barbieri's Heir for Giovanni Francesco Davico, 1678.

7,200.00

Malvasia, Carlo Cesare (1616-1693).

Felsina Pittrice. Vite de pittori bolognesi alla Maestà Christianissima di Luigi XIIII Re di Francia e di Nauarra il Sempre Vittorioso consagrata... Diuisa in duoi tomi; con indici in fine copiosissimi. Tomo primo [-secondo].

Bologna, Domenico Barbieri's Heir for Giovanni Francesco Davico, 1678.

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Sir Joshua Reynolds' copy

Malvasia, Carlo Cesare (1616-1693).

Felsina Pittrice. Vite de pittori bolognesi alla Maestà Christianissima di Luigi XIIII Re di Francia e di Nauarra il Sempre Vittorioso consagrata... Diuisa in duoi tomi; con indici in fine copiosissimi. Tomo primo [-secondo]. Bologna, Domenico Barbieri's Heir for Giovanni Francesco Davico, 1678.

Two parts in one volume, 4° (239x168 mm). Collation: [a]-b4, A-Z4, Aa-Zz4, Aaa-Zzz4, Aaaa-Cccc4, Dddd4; [π]2, A-Z4, Aa-Zz4, Aaa-Zzz4, Aaaa-Gggg4. [16], 581, 1 of [3]; [4], 606, [2] pages. Lacking in the first part fol. Dddd4 blank. In this copy fols. b1-b2 are bound after fols. b3-b4. Issue C (no priority) with 'incudi' instead of 'incudini' on fol. B3r, in the first part. Roman and italic type. Woodcut printer's device on fol. Ee4v of the first part. Forty-three woodcut portraits in the manner of Vasari; eight empty portrait frames, fifteen small illustrations of paintings by the Carraccis, four other full-page woodcuts. Woodcut decorated initials. Contemporary blind-tooled vellum, over pasteboards. Covers within fillet borders, in the centre four fleurs-de-lis and a large lozenge-shaped tool. Spine with five raised bands, inked title and imprint. A single ink stain to the lower cover. A very good copy, slight waterstaining at the lower margin of the central and last quires.

Provenance: the famous English artist Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792).

Sir Joshua Reynold's personal copy of the first edition of this famous work, presented here in the early issue with the name of the edition's financial backer, Giovanni Francesco Davico, on the title-page, and the famous insult towards Raphael, called 'Boccalaio Urbinate' (fol. Nnn4r, line 14), which was subsequently corrected to 'gran Raffaele'.

Carlo Cesare Malvasia was a pupil of the painters Giacinto Campana and Giacomo Cavedone, and is considered the most important historian of the Bolognese school of painting. His Felsina Pittrice deals with the life and works of celebrated Bolognese artists, and the sections dedicated to Guido Reni, Agostino Mitelli, and the Procaccinis are especially noteworthy. A third volume of additions, edited by Luigi Crespi, was published in Rome in 1769.

The present copy comes from the library of Sir Joshua Reynolds, one of the most influential English painters and theorists of his time, who specialised in portraiture. He was the first president of the Royal Academy of Arts, and was knighted by George III in 1769. Reynolds was deeply influenced by Italian painters and Italian art theorists. “Among the Italian art literature that Reynolds studied particularly intensively was Carlo Cesare Malvasia's Felsina Pittrice (1678) and his Pitture di Bologna (1686).

This explains, to an extent, the importance Reynolds attached to Bolognese paintings in hisDiscourses.

Whereas we can only presume that Reynolds possessed a copy of the Felsina Pittricebecause he directly quoted from it in his Discourses, Pitture di Bologna” (I. Wenderholm, “The President as a Reader: Reynolds and Books”, p. 214). We can now prove it was this very copy that was in his possession.

Libreria Vinciana 4381; J. Schlosser Magnino, La letteratura artistica, Firenze 1967, pp. 529 and 579; I. Wenderholm “The President as a Reader: Reynolds and Books”, H. Damm, M. Thimann, C. Zittel (eds.), The Artist as Reader: On Education and Non-Education of Early Modern Artists, Leiden 2013, pp. 195-217; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 216.

 
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