Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae: Wooden Framework to Support Arches in a Building

Series/Portfolio:
Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae
Artist:
Jacob(us) Bos (Netherlandish, Hertogenbosch ca. 1520, active Rome ca. 1549–80)
Publisher:
Antonio Lafreri (French, Orgelet, Franche-Comte ca. 1512–1577 Rome)
Date:
16th century
Medium:
Engraving
Dimensions:
sheet: 15 9/16 x 21 7/16 in. (39.5 x 54.5 cm) plate: 12 5/8 x 18 5/16 in. (32 x 46.5 cm)
Classification:
Prints
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, Transferred from the Library, 1941
Accession Number:
41.72(3.31)
Not on view
This print comes from the museum’s copy of the Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae (The Mirror of Roman Magnificence) The Speculum found its origin in the publishing endeavors of Antonio Salamanca and Antonio Lafreri. During their Roman publishing careers, the two foreign publishers - who worked together between 1553 and 1563 - initiated the production of prints recording art works, architecture and city views related to Antique and Modern Rome. The prints could be bought individually by tourists and collectors, but were also purchased in larger groups which were often bound together in an album. In 1573, Lafreri commissioned a title page for this purpose, which is where the title ‘Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae’ first appears. Lafreri envisioned an ideal arrangement of the prints in 7 different categories, but during his lifetime, never appears to have offered one standard, bound set of prints. Instead, clients composed their own selection from the corpus to be bound, or collected a group of prints over time. When Lafreri died, two-third of the existing copper plates went to the Duchetti family (Claudio and Stefano), while another third was distributed among several publishers. The Duchetti appear to have standardized production, offering a more or less uniform version of the Speculum to their clients. The popularity of the prints also inspired other publishers in Rome to make copies however, and to add new prints to the corpus.

The museum’s copy of the Speculum entered the collection as a group of 3 albums with inlaid engravings and etchings. The prints have since been removed, but the original place of each print within the album is contained in the accession number: 41.72(volume.place).

Originally volume 3, plate 31 in the scrapbook.
Inscription: At upper left: La presente Figura dimostra una ar: / madura ò vero incavallatura delle / volte di Sa Pietro Di Roma fatta da / M.ro (ro as superscript) Ant.o (o as superscript) Da Sa. gallo et ancor / meßa inopera da Michael Ang. buonaroto / pur nelle medesime volte fatte da lui / è volendo sapere la sua misure / disotto à detta ve la Canna Romana / partito in parte 10 detti palmi
At upper right: Sara utila à qual si voglia persona / haver meßo nella presente Carta / le misure antich e moderne qual sono / Volte da quelle steßo di campido: / glio servono a carchitettj muratorj / è falegniani et ameranti et ad altri / artieri ch esercitano le misure aparte: / nentj alla loro perfeßione
At bottom center: Canna partita in palmi 10 con la quale / è fatta detta armadura / Centro della volta / Quest' è'l piede Romano, partito in onci 12 et detti 16 / Piede Greco è partito in onci 12 et deti 16 / Quest' è'l palmo degli Architetti partito in onci 12 minuti 60 / Quest è l'ottava parte della canna de'mercanti / Quest' è la meta del braccio de mercanti, partito in palmi quattro
At lower left: Ant. Lafrerj Sequanj Formis / Roma Anno 1561
At lower right: Iacobus Boßius Belga Suma diligetia, circono excepti in aesq incidit

Marking: On verso at bottom center: The Metropolitan Museum of Art stamp
H. P. Kraus
Quaritch Catalogue 332; Huelsen 165a
Peter Parshall "Antonio' Lafreri's 'Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae'" Print Quarterly. 1, London, 2006.



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