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Description:This finely engraved original 1655 antique architectural engraving a plan part of the Villa Medici on the Pincian Hill founded by Ferdinando I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany in Rome, Italy by Giovanni Battistaa Falda was published by Giacomo de Rossi in the 1665 edition of Il nuovo teatro delle fabriche, et edificii, in prospettiva di Roma moderna, 1665-1699. These original prints are published on beautiful heavy clean original 17th century laid Italian made paper.The Villa Medici is a mannerist villa and an architectural complex with a garden contiguous with the larger Borghese gardens, on the Pincian Hill next to Trinità dei Monti in Rome, Italy. The Villa Medici, founded by Ferdinando I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany and now property of the French State has housed the French Academy in Rome since 1803. In ancient times, the site of the Villa Medici was part of the gardens of Lucullus, which passed into the hands of the Imperial family with Messalina, who was murdered in the villa.In 1564, when the nephews of Cardinal Giovanni Ricci of Montepulciano acquired the property, it had long been abandoned to viticulture. The sole dwelling was the Casina of Cardinale Marcello Crescenzi, who had maintained a vineyard here and had begun improvements to the villa under the direction of the Florentine Nanni Lippi, who had died however, before work had proceeded far. The new proprietors commissioned Annibale Lippi, the late architect's son, to continue work. Interventions by Michelangelo are a tradition.In 1576, the property was acquired by Cardinal Ferdinando de' Medici, who finished the structure to designs by Bartolomeo Ammanati. The Villa Medici became at once the first among Medici properties in Rome, intended to give concrete expression to the ascendancy of the Medici among Italian princes and assert their permanent presence in Rome. Under the Cardinal's insistence, Ammanati incorporated into the design Roman bas-reliefs and statues that were coming to sight with almost every spadeful of earth, with the result that the facades of the Villa Medici, as it now was, became a virtual open-air museum. A series of grand gardens recalled the botanical gardens created at Pisa and at Florence by the Cardinal's father Cosimo I de' Medici, sheltered in plantations of pines, cypresses and oaks. Ferdinando de' Medici had a studiolo, a retreat for study and contemplation, built to the north east of the garden above the Aurelian wall. Now these rooms look onto Borghese gardens but would then have had views over the Roman countryside. These two rooms were only uncovered in 1985 by the restorer Geraldine Albers: the concealing whitewash had protected and conserved the superb fresco decoration carried out by Jacopo Zucchi 1576 and 1577.Among the striking assemblage of Roman sculptures in the villa were some one hundred seventy pieces bought from two Roman collections that had come together through marriage, the Capranica and the della Valle collections. An engraving detailing the arrangement of statues prior to 1562 was documented by Galassi Alghisi. Three works that arrived at the Villa Medici under Cardinal Fernando, ranked with the most famous in the city: the Niobe Group and the Wrestlers, both discovered in 1583 and immediately purchased by Cardinal Ferdinando, and the Arrotino. When the Cardinal succeeded as Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1587, his elder brother having died, he satisfied himself with plaster copies of his Niobe Group, in full knowledge of the prestige that accrued to the Medici by keeping such a magnificent collection in the European city whose significance far surpassed that of their own capital. The Medici lions were completed in 1598, and the Medici Vase entered the collection at the Villa, followed by the Venus de' Medici by the 1630s; the Medici sculptures were not removed to Florence until the eighteenth century. Then the antiquities from the Villa Medici formed the nucleus of the collection of antiquities in the Uffizi, and Florence began to figure on the European Grand Tour.The fountain in the front of the Villa Medici is formed from a red granite vase from ancient Rome. It was designed by Annibale Lippi in 1589. The view from the Villa looking over the fountain towards St Peter's in the distance has been much painted, but the trees in the foreground have now obscured the view. Like the Villa Borghese that adjoins them, the villa's gardens were far more accessible than the formal palaces such as Palazzo Farnese in the heart of the city. For a century and a half the Villa Medici was one of the most elegant and worldly settings in Rome, the seat of the Grand Dukes' embassy to the Holy See. When the male line of the Medici died out in 1737, the villa passed to the house of Lorraine and, briefly in Napoleonic times, to the Kingdom of Etruria. In this manner Napoleon Bonaparte came into possession of the Villa Medici, which he transferred to the French Academy at Rome.
General Definitions:Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stablePaper color : - off whiteAge of map color: - Colors used: - General color appearance: - Paper size: - 18in x 14in (460mm x 360mm)Plate size: - 11 1/2in x 9in (290mm x 230mm)Margins: - Min 1/2in (12mm)
Imperfections:Margins: - NonePlate area: - NoneVerso: - None
Background: Il Nuovo Teatro: One of the most important architectural projects of the seventeenth century was the urban renovation of Rome. Under the brilliant leadership of Pope Alessandro VII (1655-1667), Rome dramatically emerged as one of the most modern and beautiful cities of the new Baroque age. Within several decades spacious roadways were constructed, monumental buildings arose, and many public squares appeared with elaborate fountains and monuments. To be sure, this massive undertaking was meant to underline the absolute power of the Papacy but it also brought forth a new flowering of Italian art and architecture.The Nuovo Teatro was initiated in 1665 to depict the new Rome in a series of etchings. What it gave to future generations was a magnificent historical record of views etched by two of Italy's greatest architectural artists. The printing and publishing of these important etchings was entrusted to Giacomo de Rossi (1626-1691), the head of the most dominant Roman publishing house. Sons and nephews of de Rossi, in fact, continued the publishing house until 1738 when the business was sold to Pope Clement XII to form the basis of the Regia Calcografia.) Altogether, four sets of Nuovo Teatro were created during the seventeenth century. Volumes one (35 etchings) and two (17 etchings) were both published in the year of 1665 and dealt mainly in views of the new piazzas, gardens, terraces and their surrounding buildings. Volume 3 (38 etchings) was published in 1669 and concentrated upon the newly constructed churches of Rome. Every plate from the first three sets was both designed and etched by the influential architectural artist, Giovanni Battista Falda (1643-1678). For reasons unknown the fourth and final volume (52 etchings) did not appear until 1699. It was published by Giacomo's successor, Domenico de Rossi, and featured views of the palaces and stately homes of Rome. Each plate was designed and etched by the famous architect and etcher, Alessandro Specchi (1668-1729)