Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae: The Tiber

Series/Portfolio:
Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae
Artist:
Nicolas Beatrizet (French, Lunéville 1515–ca. 1566 Rome (?))
Publisher:
Antonio Lafreri (French, Orgelet, Franche-Comte ca. 1512–1577 Rome)
Date:
mid-16th century
Medium:
Engraving; first state of two
Dimensions:
mount: 13 3/16 x 21 5/8 in. (33.5 x 55 cm)
sheet: 21 x 26 15/16 in. (53.4 x 68.5 cm)
Classification:
Prints
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, Transferred from the Library, 1941
Accession Number:
41.72(2.97)
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 2, plate 97 in the scrapbook.
Inscription: At upper right: ECCE TIBI CANDIDE LECTOR TIBERIS FLVVI SIMVLACHRVM EID LVPA ROMVLVM REMVM QVE / CONDITOREIS VEBEIS LACTANS INDICAT DVPLICI LAVDE INSIGNE ET SCVLPTVRAE MAIES / TATE ET IN EIVS FLVMINIS PROPIES EXPLICANDEIS EXCELLENTIA CORNVCOPIAE / ENIM AMNIS VBERTATEM DEMONSTRAT LVPVS OVIS ARIES VVLPES EQVVS SVS HEIV EXPRESSA FREQVENTIA SVNT CIRCA FLVVIVM ANIMALIA EIVS OPPORTV / NITATEM NAVIGIA ONERA SECVNDO ADVERSO ADQVE TRANSVERSO FIVMINE / PORTANTIA HOINES QVE IN EO NATANTES ET PISCANTES CMV AEDIFI / CIEIUS DECLARANT EIVS AQVA CVM SIT OMNIVM SALVBERIMA PER / LONGA TEMPORA PRAETER CATERARVM NATVRAM IN QVOVIS VA / SE EXTRA ALVEVM SVVM INTEGRA CONSERVATVR ET IN COR / RVPTA A CVIVS ET IAM COLORE ALBVLA AB ANTIQVIES / APELLATVS FVIT NVNC TIBERIS A REGE EIVS NOMI / NIS VEL IVXTA EVM CAESO VEL IN EO SVMBERSO / DICITVR ORITVR IN APEONINO ET IN TVRRHE / NVM DEFLVENS DVOBVS ET XL FLVMI / NIBVS AVGETVR EST AVTEM / HOC EX ANTIQVO MARMOREO / SIMVLACHRO QVOD IN / VATICANO ADVC ESTAT DI / LIGENTER DEFORMATVM ET / IN HAC TABELLA ANT LA / FRERI AENEIS FORMIS / AD AMVSSIM / EXCVSSVM

Marking: On verso at right center: The Metropolitan Museum of Art stamp
H. P. Kraus
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," April 14, 1997–July 20, 1997.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," November 5, 2001–January 28, 2002.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," October 4, 2010–January 3, 2011.

Quaritch Catalogue 214; Huelsen 60a; Robert-Dumesnil IX.172.100 i/ii; Bartsch XV.267.96
Peter Parshall "Antonio' Lafreri's 'Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae'" Print Quarterly. 1, London, 2006.



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