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Descrizzione Delle Imagini Dipinte Da Rafaelle D'Urbino Nelle Camere del Palazzo Apostolico Vaticano. Di Gio. Pietro Bellori Alla Santità di Nostro Signore Papa Innocenzo Duodecimo.

Giovanni Pietro Bellori

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Variant Title

Favola Di Amore, E Psiche Dipinta Da Rafaelle D'Urbino
Gli Onori Della Pittura, E Scoltura


In Roma.: MDCXCV., Nella Stamparia di Gio: Giacomo Komarek Boëmo all Fontana di Trevi. Con Licenza de' Superiori, E Privilegio.

Physical Description

[6], 112 [i.e. 114] p., frontis. (port.): illus.; [copy 1:] 321 mm.; [copy 2:] 315 mm. (Folio.)

General Note

There are two unnumbered pages between pages 63 and 64 (a blank page and a divisional title-page). Page 99 is misnumbered 93; p. 102 is misnumbered 202.


[Frontis., t.-p., dedic.] - Imprimatur; Pagina Errori Correzzioni - A' Gli Studiosi Di Rafaelle - [Text]. - [Divisional t.-p.] - [Text, 'La Favola Di Amore, E Psiche ...'] - [Text, 'alcuni ragionamenti specialmente in onore del medesimo Rafaëlle, e delle sue opere'] - Gli Onori Della Pittura, E Scoltura. Discorso Di Giovan Pietro Bellori Detto nell' Accademia Romana di San Luca ... Novembre MDCLXXVII ....

Responsibility Note

The frontispiece portrait of Raphael is signed as designed and drawn by 'Carol. Marattus'.

In-text illustrations and decorations are unsigned.

The work is dedicated by Bellori to Pope Innocent XII. The divisional title-page of the 'Favola Di Amore, E Psiche' carries its own dedication, to Francesco Farnese, Duca di Parma.


Art history in the age of Bellori, ed. J.C. Bell and T. Willette (2002).

On Komarek see A Tinto, 'G.G. Komarek tipografo romano nei secoli XVII e XVIII', in La Bibliofilia 75 (1973), 188-225.

Summary Note

The main part of the text consists of a description of the paintings made by Raphael and his assistants for Pope Julius II in four rooms of the Vatican Palace in 1509-14 - the first room showing the Eucharist, School of Athens, Jurisprudence and Parnassus; the second, Heliodorus, the Mass, Attila, and St. Peter's escape from prison; the third, the fire in the Borgo, the victory over the Saracens, the justification of Leo III and Charlemagne's coronation; the fourth, deeds of Constantine I. This is followed by a blank page and a divisional title-page, reading 'La Favola Di Amore, E Psiche Dipinta Da Rafaelle D'Urbino Nella Loggia detta de' Chigi, oggi del Sereniss. Signor Duca di Parma ... Descritta Da Gio: Pietro Bellori Con l'aggiunta d'alcuni ragionamenti specialmente in onore del medesimo Rafaëlle ... All'Altezza Serenissima Di Francesco Farnese ...', which precedes an account of the frescoes on the myth of Cupid and Psyche made for Agostino Chigi at the Villa Farnesina in 1518. The book concludes with a speech by Bellori made in 1677 to the Accademia di San Luca.

The only plate is a frontispiece portrait of Raphael, captioned with Bembo's famous epitaph, given in Latin and Italian, 'Ille Hic Est Raphael, Timuit Quo Sospite Vinci Rerum Magna Parens, Et Moriente Mori. Questi E Quel Rafael, Cui Vivo Vinta Esser Temèo Natura, E Morto Estinta.' In-text illustrations consist of two sketches on pp. 16, 18, a title-page vignette, headpieces, decorated initials and tailpieces.

Notes by Bellori on the Cupid and Psyche frescoes had already been published in 1693, accompanying illustrations by Dorigny ('Psyches et Amoris nuptiae ac fabula').

The present work was reprinted in 1751 and again in 1821.


A facsimile was published in 1968 (Farnborough: Gregg International).


[Copy 1:] Purchased from Francesco Sastres for £1 1s. on 19 April 1788 (see his invoice 'for books sent to Mr. Wilton for the Royal Academy').

[Copy 2:] Inscribed in ink on the front endpaper, 'P. Hoare - Gift to the Revd Charles Townsend - May - 1832 to be by him presented or bequeathed to the Royal Academy -'. Bequeathed by the latter in 1843 (acknowledged RA Council Minutes, IX, 319).

Copy Note

[Copy 1:] Imperfect; wanting the frontispiece portrait.

Binding Note

[Copy 1:] Contemporary vellum; red morocco spine-label, lettered, 'Descriz. Dell. Pitture Di Rafael d'Urbin'.

[Copy 2:] Contemporary vellum; spine inscribed in ink, 'Descri Dell. Imag. Dipin Da Rafael D'Urbi'.

Name as Subject


Interior Decoration, Italian - Mural paintings, Italian - Frescoes, Italian - Paintings, Italian - Paintings, European - Palaces - Italy - Rome - Vatican City - Vatican Palace (Vatican City) - History - 16th century - Renaissance
Art criticism - 17th century


Innocent XII Pope, dedicatee
Giovanni Giacomo Komarek, printer, publisher
Francesco I Duke of Parma, dedicatee
Carlo Maratti, source artist, draughtsman
Prince Hoare, previous owner, donor
Revd. Charles Townsend, previous owner, donor
Accademia Di San Luca (Rome) - Concorso de' Premii, (1677)