ROMAN EMPERORS. Imagines XXIIII Caesaru[m] a Iulio ad Alexandrum Severu[m] usque, ab antiquis marmoribus excerptae nuper impressae. Edited and engraved by Donato Bertelli. Engraved title-page and 24 full-page engraved portraits numbered I-XXIV of Roman Emperors from Julius Caesar to Severus Alexander. 4to., 228 x 168 mm, bound in later Italian quarter vellum over boards, edges speckled red. Venice: apud Donatum Bertellum ad signum divi Marci, 1573.
These 24 expressive portrait plates "extracted from antique marbles" show 23 of the 27 emperors who ruled during the Julio-Claudian, Flavian, and Nervan-Antonian dynasties, in profile or three-quarter perspective, plus a profile of Lucius Aelius (AD 101-138, "L. Helius Verus Imp. XX"), the adopted son of Hadrian who never ascended the throne. The group excludes Lucius Verus (AD 130-169, co-emperor with Marcus Aurelius); Didius Julianus (d. AD 193); Geta (AD 189-211); and Macrinus, who ruled temporarily with his son Diadumenian (both executed in AD 218), according with the other known copies of this book, which have 23-25 plates.
The engraver and printer of this series, Donato Bertelli (fl. 1565-1574), is most famous for his cartographic publications, notably Le vere imagini et descriptioni delle più belle città del mondo (1569), dedicated to J. J. Fugger von Kirchberg. Sparse annotations in contemporary ink. The plates are mounted on laid paper and bound out of order.
Very rare. No known copies in the U.S., and no records at auction in ABPC. OCLC locates just one copy (in Freiburg, Germany), and the Italian census EDIT 16 adds one more (Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan): CNCE 68584. DBI online (Bertelli). Le Blanc, Manuel de l'amateur d'estampes, I, p. 307. Not in Cicognara.
Item nr. 166926