|Measures:||295 x 490 mm|
|Measures:||295 x 490 mm|
Engraving, 1544, dated and signed in plate at lower right ANT LAFRERY SEQUANI FORMIS.
Example in the first state of three for Alberti, only state for Rubach, who does not describe reprints by Paolo Graziani and Pietro de Nobili.
Magnificent proof, printed on contemporary laid paper with watermark "lamb in circle with star" (cf. Woodward no. 160), with margins on three sides and trimmed to copperplate at top, in excellent condition.
The plate is derived from Enea Vico's engraving for Antonio Salamanca (Hülsen 1921, no. 30f); for Hülsen this plate could also be ascribed to Vico.
Inscribed in the base of the column: S. P. Q. R. / IMP. CAESARI DIVI NERVAE. F. NERVAE. / TRAIANO AVG. GERMANIC. DACICUS / PONT. MAX. TRIB. POT. XVII. COS. VI. PP / AD. DECLARNDVM. QVANTAE ALTITV / DINIS MONS ET LOCVS SITE GESTVS.
"This is the edition of the Trajan Column subsequent to that for the Salamanca types in 1540. The coclid column occupies vertically the entire space of the plate, the image is set in an urban context. The print represents with sufficient accuracy the state of the ancient monument. Despite the apparent similarity between Lafréry's engraving and Salamanca's engraving in reality the scale of measurement, the proportions and the point of view are different in fact Lafréry's engraving is placed from a lower point of view reproducing a more grandiose effect of the base appearing larger, furthermore there is a substantial diversity of the figurines at the bottom and the hatching of the sky differs considerably, and finally the scenes of the column are opposite to those represented by Salamanca” (translation from C. Marigliani, Lo splendore di Roma nell’Arte incisoria del Cinquecento).
The work belongs to the Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae, the earliest iconography of ancient Rome.
The Speculum originated in the publishing activities of Antonio Salamanca and Antonio Lafreri (Lafrery). During their Roman publishing careers, the two editors-who worked together between 1553 and 1563-started the production of prints of architecture, statuary, and city views related to ancient and modern Rome. The prints could be purchased individually by tourists and collectors, but they were also purchased in larger groups that were often bound together in an album. In 1573, Lafreri commissioned a frontispiece for this purpose, where the title Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae appears for the first time. Upon Lafreri's death, two-thirds of the existing copperplates went to the Duchetti family (Claudio and Stefano), while another third was distributed among several publishers. Claudio Duchetti continued the publishing activity, implementing the Speculum plates with copies of those "lost" in the hereditary division, which he had engraved by the Milanese Amborgio Brambilla. Upon Claudio's death (1585) the plates were sold - after a brief period of publication by the heirs, particularly in the figure of Giacomo Gherardi - to Giovanni Orlandi, who in 1614 sold his printing house to the Flemish publisher Hendrick van Schoel. Stefano Duchetti, on the other hand, sold his own plates to the publisher Paolo Graziani, who partnered with Pietro de Nobili; the stock flowed into the De Rossi typography passing through the hands of publishers such as Marcello Clodio, Claudio Arbotti and Giovan Battista de Cavalleris. The remaining third of plates in the Lafreri division was divided and split among different publishers, some of them French: curious to see how some plates were reprinted in Paris by Francois Jollain in the mid-17th century. Different way had some plates printed by Antonio Salamanca in his early period; through his son Francesco, they goes to Nicolas van Aelst's. Other editors who contributed to the Speculum were the brothers Michele and Francesco Tramezzino (authors of numerous plates that flowed in part to the Lafreri printing house), Tommaso Barlacchi, and Mario Cartaro, who was the executor of Lafreri's will, and printed some derivative plates. All the best engravers of the time - such as Nicola Beatrizet (Beatricetto), Enea Vico, Etienne Duperac, Ambrogio Brambilla, and others - were called to Rome and employed for the intaglio of the works.
All these publishers-engravers and merchants-the proliferation of intaglio workshops and artisans helped to create the myth of the Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae, the oldest and most important iconography of Rome. The first scholar to attempt to systematically analyze the print production of 16th-century Roman printers was Christian Hülsen, with his Das Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae des Antonio Lafreri of 1921. In more recent times, very important have been the studies of Peter Parshall (2006) Alessia Alberti (2010), Birte Rubach and Clemente Marigliani (2016).
C. Hülsen, Das Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae des Antonio Lafreri (1921), n. 30/e; cfr. Peter Parshall, Antonio Lafreri's 'Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae, in “Print Quarterly”, 1 (2006); B. Rubach, Ant. Lafreri Formis Romae (2016), n. 287; A. Alberti, L’indice di Antonio Lafrery (2010), n. 54, I/III; Marigliani, Lo splendore di Roma nell’Arte incisoria del Cinquecento (2016), nn. IV.11 e IV.13; cfr, D. Woodward, Catalogue of watermarks in Italian printed maps 1540 – 1600 (1996).