Vite de’ pittori scultori ed architetti che anno lavorato in Roma morti dal 1641 fino al 1673

25 PASSERI Giovanni Battista Vite de pittori scultori ed architetti che anno lavorato in RomaPASSERI, Giovanni Battista

Roma, Gregorio Settari, 1772 / Roma, Giovanni Zempel, 1772)

In 4to, pp. (2), XVI, 492, engraved title page with Omero’s bust (by Carloni, in this copy the page is in B/W), rough edges, contemporary half calf with corners, golden ornaments on spine, red tile with title and author in gold, some spots on external edge of p. 2, a restored tear on p. 143.

The first edition of Passeri work that, edited post mortem by Bianconi and Bottari, put itself as a follow-up of Baglione book (v. supra), stopped on 1642. Passeri was an artist/writer, Domenichino’s pupil: his celebrity is mostly linked to the wide circulation obtained by this very book, that includes 36 biographical portraits put in order by death’s year, starting by Domenichino, and then with painters as Reni, Albani, Sacchi, Pietro da Cortona, Salvator Rosa, Barbieri (the “Guercino”), Lanfranco, Algardi; there are foreign painters as Poussin and Wander (the “Bamboccio”, and Passeri’s work will be crucial on a XX Century debate about this artist), but also sculptors (Fiammingo, Alguardi, Finelli,Peroni), architects (between them Borromini) and a mosaic maker (Calandra).

The president of San Luca Academy (but the circumstance is denied by Jacob Hess, who in 1928 wrote his degree thesis to Passeri), is peaceful to put him in the “aristocratic parterre that ruled the public ceremonies of the Academy”, Dbi, s.v.): the inclusion in this conservatory circle accords to a criticalel ement of the book, that is the critical tendency towards Bernini. Expecially in the entry dedicated to Borromini’s life Passeri is very argumentative against Bernini, taking a strong positionin the notorious controversy.

In the same year of this edition, published for the first time almost a century after its author death, another run appeared,uniform to this one but with different typographic information; it has not been established what run was printed before.

Rossetti 7983, Cicognara 2344; on the history of manuscript and on editorial events see Hess’ works (Die Künstlerbiographien von Giovanni Battista Passeri, 1934 e anche Joseph Connors, in “Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians”, vol. 57 No. 4, 1998 (pp. 469-471). 


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