BASOLI, Antonio. Raccolta di Prospettive Serie, Rustiche, E di Paesaggio, Dedicate al Merito di Alcuni Mecenati, Professori, Amatori di Belle Arti, Ed Amici...inventate da Antonio Basoli...disegnate da Francesco Cocchi...incise da diversi scuolari... Title-page with vignette followed by 102 numbered and signed etched plates. Oblong folio, 380 x 460 mm, bound in contemporary Italian quarter calf over marbled boards. Bologna: [the Author], 1810.
First Edition of this grand neo-classic view book illustrated with large oblong etched plates designed to be coloured by aspiring artists, students from the Art Academy, and art lovers. The etched plates were purposefully designed and printed "a semplice contorno" -- with simple lines -- so that individual plates could be watercoloured. An intriguing concept for artistic training, architectural and perspective instruction, and for documenting the prevailing subject matter used by contemporary artists, interior decorators and theatrical set designers.
The views include imaginary cityscapes and landscapes in Italy, among which the "Gran Veglio" from Dante; prisons based on Piranesi's Carceri; American rustic cabins and indigenous Indian architectural structures; imaginary Egyptian and classical Roman buildings, plazas and interiors; Chinese and Arabian palaces, mosques and plazas; catacombs; landscape gardens; Grand Tour towns and romantic landscape views; classical ruins; Romantic rustic scenes; and numerous imaginary architectural constructs.
The premise that these expansive plates would have been fully coloured is compelling. Well executed, the result could be both magnificent and inspired. The taste is completely of its time. Several etchings provide reference in the legends to theatrical and operatic performances. Many of these images certainly can be traced to the grand theatrical scenery at La Scala being designed by Alessandro Sanquirico (1777-1849).
Antonio Basoli (1774-1848) was a Bolognese artist and member of the Reale Accademia di Belle Arte in Bologna, who is best known for his work in the theatre set design; he was greatly inspired by the work of Sanquirico in Milan, and some of which is recorded in his Collezione de Varie Scene Teatrali. Francesco Cocchi, who rendered Basoli's designs for this book, was his apprentice. The etchings were done by students of Basoli, Cocchi, and another professor, Francesco Rosaspina -- an art school effort in entirety.
Scarce work; due to the stated intention on the title-page that this work was meant to be dismembered and the individual plates coloured, few copies seemed to have survived. Plates I, XXXIV, and XLVII on different paper stock. Rebacked with original spine laid down.
PROVENANCE: Large "B" inscribed in upper outer corner of front pastedown.
Berlin Katalog 4165. Brunet I, 692.
Item nr. 166924