One finely engraved head-piece. 4 p.l., LXXX pp. 8vo, attractive early 19th-century calf-backed marbled boards, flat spine gilt, orange & green morocco lettering pieces on spines. [Venice, ca. 1776].
(PINELLI, Maffeo). Catalogo di Quadri raccolti dal fu Signor Maffeo Pinelli, ed ora posti in vendita in Venezia 1785. viii, 125 pp., one blank leaf. 8vo. [Venice: July 1785].
(GRIMANI COLLECTION). [Drop-title on p. 3]: Pitture e Scolture nel Palazzo di Casa Grimani a S.ta Maria Formosa. Engraved frontis. Titles & text in double columns in Italian & French. 13 pp. 8vo. [Venice: ca. 1790].
A fascinating sammelband of three very rare privately printed catalogues of important Venetian art collections, the first two of which were dispersed in the late 18th century. This volume was bound for Girolami Caratti of Udine, art enthusiast and book collector extraordinaire. Caratti is an elusive figure but we know that he corresponded extensively with Giovanni de Lazara and others.
I. A rare catalogue, compiled by the architect G.A. Selva and based on the notes of the painter Pietro Edwards; a French language issue appeared in the same year and is also very rare. The collection was that of Francesco Algarotti (1712-64), cosmopolitan connoisseur of the arts and sciences who was esteemed by the philosophers of the Enlightenment for his wide knowledge and elegant presentation of advanced ideas. Algarotti commissioned a great many Venetian paintings for Augustus, Elector of Saxony, and for himself. Algarotti died in 1764 and the collection was then augmented by his brother Count Bonomo Algarotti who died in 1776.
This catalogue was privately published by Bonomo’s daughter, Contessa Maria Algarotti Corniani, from a manuscript found among her father’s papers. The catalogue describes a large collection of splendid paintings, with detailed descriptions and measurements in Parisian feet (a rate of translation into Venetian feet is supplied). The drawings are described in less detail, though the medium is specified, and an extensive library of books on the fine arts and architecture is appended on pages LIX-LXXX.
WorldCat locates no copy of either the Italian or French issues of this catalogue in North America.
II. The rare catalogue of Maffeo Pinelli’s large collection of paintings, here offered for sale, compiled by Jacobo Morelli, librarian at the Marciana, and authenticated by Davide Fossati and Domenico Maggioto, both members of the Accademia di Pittura di Venezia. The catalogue was privately published by Pinelli’s executor, Daniele Zanchi, and includes detailed descriptions and measurements in Venetian feet of the paintings offered.
In the preface, Morelli also devotes two pages to advertise his forthcoming catalogues Pinelli’s library, justly claiming that the books are “di ottima conservazione, e degno di adornare qualunque Bibliotheca Regia” (p. viii). The catalogues of the Pinelli library, one of the most important private libraries in Italy, was issued in six volumes in 1787. The collection was then sold en bloc to the London bookseller James Edwards who in turn issued an auction catalogue. This sale marked the beginning of London as international art center.
WorldCat locates only the CCA copy in North America.
III. A charming guide to the art treasures in the Palazzo Grimani of Venice. The frontispiece depicts the entrance and view into the courtyard of the Palazzo Grimani. Caratti has annotated the frontispiece in manuscript and amended two points in the printed description.
Fine copies, most attractively bound. With the signature of Caratti on the free front endpaper: “Ao. 1811. Girolamo Caratti Udine.”
I. Cicognara 4592. II & III. Not Cicognara.
Item ID: 5839