Two double-page plates & 80 engravings in the text. 8 p.l., 196,  pp. Folio, orig. carta rustica (covers a little soiled & spotted, first few leaves a little dampstained in outer lower corner). Rome: G.F. Buagni, 1696.
First edition and a fine fresh copy of this finely illustrated work on baroque hydraulics. Fontana (1638-1714), was the most important Roman architect of his generation.
This book “emerges from an actual design problem. The practical source for this theoretical work was the project for the raising of the water level of Lake Bracciano, necessary since the second fountain in Saint Peter’s square, built by Bernini under Pope Clement X, was to be fed with water brought from this lake…
“In the three parts of Acque correnti, Fontana takes up a wide range of empirical and theoretical issues. In his discussion of the behavior of water, Fontana challenges Galileo’s theory of flotation, positing water as heavier than earth. The technique of moving water through lead pipes is discussed, as is the theory of the speed of the movement of water, followed by an analysis of compression and the functioning of pumps. In the third part, Fontana deals specifically with the project of bringing water from Bracciano to Rome. The water brought from Bracciano was drawn from the property of the Orsini, and Fontana was able to draw from a rich range of documents in the family archives…
“The Acque correnti is exquisitely illustrated with engravings of a high artistic and decorative standard, and thus appreciated not only by hydraulic engineers but also by collectors of fine books and wealthy patrons of garden fountains. Despite this aesthetic quality, however, the book is modest in length and compact in format, suitable for practical use…The text of the Acque correnti aims at scientific clarity and addresses the hydraulic engineer and fountain specialist.”–Millard Architectural Collection, IV, 39.
Fine copy. Occasional light browning.
❧ Riccardi, I, 465-66–(with a long note). Roberts & Trent, Bibliotheca Mechanica, pp. 115-16.
Item ID: 5325