1616 G. Laurus - 1st ISSUE - Gardens of the Villa Mattei on Monte Celio Italy

£155.00

Gardens of the Villa Mattei on Monte Celio. The fine engraving shows the gardens and grounds of Villa Mattei, now known as the Villa Celimontana. There is a numbered key of important features of the garden on the bottom of the page and the map is signed by Lauro, dated 1616. The grounds cover most of the valley between the Aventine Hill and the Caelian. The gardens were famous for their artwork and fountains. One item featured was an obelisk, brought to Rome from Heliopolis to decorate a Temple to Isis. The hieroglyphics refer to Pharoah Ramses II. Bernini was responsible for the fountains.

The Mattei opened the villa to pilgrims who returned from their visit to the Sette Chiese which was a pilgrimage to the seven major Churches in Rome. The pilgrims received a ticket on completing the pilgrimage which would entitle them to participate in a festival where bread, wine, cheese, apples, and other foods were available for picnics in the villa’s gardens. In the 18th century the villa was abandoned, the archeological collections were sold to pope Clement XIII and the fountains were moved to different locations.

Romae, Apresso Vitale Mascardi, Roma, 1612-1622.

FROM THE VERY SCARCE FIRST ISSUE ISSUED IN PARTS UNTIL 1622. CORRESPONDINGLY THE ENGRAVING ARE PARTICULARLY CRISP AND WELL DEFINED. In this, and only this, issue there is not text to the verso of the engravings

FINE ENGRAVING from one of the most influential and beautiful works on the monuments and antiquities of ancient Rome. The Antiquae urbis splendor, ('The Splendor of the Ancient City') served as an important reference book and source of inspiration for many writers and artists. Giacomo Lauro was a roman printmaker active from 1583 to about 1650. 

Leaf: c 26 x 21 cm