Dichiarazione Dei Disegni Del Reale Palazzo Di Caserta Alle Sacre Reali Maesta Di Carlo Re Delle Due Sicilie E Di Gerus. Infante Di Spagna Duca Di Parma E Di Piacenza Gran Prencipe Ereditario Di Toscana E Di Maria Amalia Di Sassonia Regina &c &c

Luigi Vanvitelli

RA Collection: Book

Record number




In Napoli: MDCCLVI, Nella Regia Stamperia

Physical Description

[iv], xix, [1] p., engr. t.-pl., 14 pl. (all dble.); 656 mm. (Folio).


[Half-t., t.-pl., dedic.] - Descrizione Del Sito Del Reale Palazzo Di Caserta - Spiegazione Dei Disegni - [Plates].

Responsibility Note

All plates are signed as drawn by Vanvitelli, and as engraved by Carlo Nolli (pl. 1, 5, 7-10, 12-14), Niccolo Orazi (2-4) or Rocco Pozzi (6, 11).

The vignettes of the title-plate and dedication and the head- and tail-pieces of the 'Descrizione Del Sito' are all signed as drawn by Vanvitelli, and as engraved by R. Pozzi or F. Morghen; two decorated initials are signed as engraved by Nolli.

The book is dedicated by Vanvitelli to King Charles VII of Naples (afterwards Charles III of Spain) and Queen Maria Amalia.


Royal Institute of British Artists, British Architectural Library ... Early printed books, 4 (2001), no. 3386; National Gallery (Washington), Mark J. Millard Architectural, IV (2000), no. 140; Johns Hopkins University, The Fowler Architectural Collection (1961), no. 348, p.278.

L. Vanvitelli, Lettere, ed. F. Strazullo, 3 v. (1976).

Summary Note

Vanvitelli's book on the palace at Caserta, which he built between 1752 and 1772 for Kings Charles VII and Ferdinand I of Naples, shows the building as commissioned: changes were made during construction.

The plates show: 1-4. Plans of palace and garden, ground, first and top floors; 5, 6. Front and garden front elevations; 7. Section of portico and cortile; 8. Section of full extent of central part; 9. Section of Portico and main vestibule (with plan); 10. Section of cortili in the direction of the vestibule, and lesser entrances; 11. Section of main side of the Scala Regia (with plan); 12. Side of Royal Chapel (section, with plan); 13, 14. Aerial views of palace from front and rear.

The design of the great staircase displays the architect's mastery of the theatrical perspective developed by Bibiena and Longhena. The elevations of the palace have been likened at various times to those of the Buen Retiro, the east facade of the Louvre, and some designs in Colen Campbell's Vitruvius Brittanicus (e.g. Vanbrugh's Castle Howard).


A reduced-size photostat was published in 1973 (Caserta: V. Russo). Another reproduction was published in 1997 (Milan: Polifilo) (ISBN 887050414X).


Acquired by 1802: recorded in Catalogue Of The Library In The Royal Academy, London (1802).

Binding Note

18th-century mottled calf; spine-label missing.

Name as Subject


Architecture, Italian - Palaces - Italy - Campania - Naples - Caserta - Real Palazzo di Caserta - History - 18th century
Plans - Elevations - Sections - Views - Italy - 18th century
Pictorial works - Italy - 18th century