Giovanni Giacomo De Rossi (Italian, Rome 1627–1691 Rome)
Gift of Juanita and Phillip Greenspan in memory of thier mothers, Ann Rose Tice and Clara Greenspan, 1996
Not on view
Pietro Testa was one of the most recondite artists of the seventeenth century. This technically ambitious and intellectually complex design articulates his ideas concerning the necessary balance and unity of theory and practice in art. The inscription on the scroll at left states, 'Theory by herself is chained with bonds, and Practice alone is blind in her liberty', each, then, is impaired and inadequate without the other. The operatic composition, which is closely based on Raphael's celebrated School of Athens fresco and includes an erudite cast of characters and personifications, elaborates aspects of this conceit and shows (at center) the steps by which theory and practice can be felicitously united.
For a copy of this print see 49.95.2325
Inscription: Testa's monogram on stone lower right corner. Lettered on scroll at lower left:' La Teorica...' at right, dedication 'All' Ill.mo e R.mo Sig.re Monsig.re Girolamo Bonvisi Clerico ...'; lower right corner 'Gio Jacomo Rossi formis Romae alla Pace all'insegna di Parigi'
Donor: Phillip Greenspan
Bartsch XX.226.34.ii; Bellini 20; Cropper 41.ii
Adam von Bartsch Le Peintre graveur. Vienna, 1803.
Paolo Bellini L'opera incisa di Pietro Testa. Vicenza, 1976.
Elizabeth Cropper Pietro Testa, 1612-1650: Prints and Drawings. Philadephia, 1988.