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Disegni Di Vari Altari E Cappelle Nelle Chiese Di Roma Con Le Loro Facciate Fianche Piante E Misure De Piu Celebri Architetti.

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Date In Luce Da Gio: Giacomo De Rossi Nella Sua Stamparia, In Roma Alla Pace con Privilegio del Sommo Pontefice.: [ca. 1690?].

Physical Description

40 pl. (incl. title-pl.); 485 mm. (Folio).

Responsibility Note

The title plate is signed as drawn by Ciro Ferri and engraved by Pietro Antonio de Pitri. Plate 12 is signed as drawn and engraved by Gio. Francesco Venturini. Five plates are signed as engraved by Vincenzo Mariotti.

The head of the title plate carries G.G. Rossi's dedication to Cardinal Gio. Francesco Albani.


National Gallery (Washington), Mark J. Millard Architectural, IV (2000), 113; Royal Institute of British Architects, British Architectural Library ... Early Printed Books, 3 (1999), no. 2844, p.1692-3.

C. Claes, M.F. Jacobs and N. Perrin, 'L'autel et le tabernacle de la fin du XVIe siècle au milieu du XIXe siècle', in Rev. A. (1986), no. 71, p.47-70; A. Merck, Altarkunst des Barock [exhibition catalog] (1980); L. Rice, The altars and altarpieces of new St. Peter's (1997).

Summary Note

This is a collection of plates showing elevations and plans of altars and chapels by Bernini (8 plates), C. Ferri (7), C. Fontana (6), Michelangelo (4), Cortona (4), M. de Rossi (3), Raphael (2), Borromini (2), A. Algardi (2), A. Gherardi (2) and F. da Volterra (2). As the title states, all the structures shown are in Rome - except an altar of the church of Sta. Maria Maddalena at Florence (by C. Ferri, pl. 32, 33).

It is not possible to date this publication precisely. It is most commonly found in an edition of 50 numbered plates, itself undated (but of which the last three plates bear the imprint of Domenico de' Rossi, who inherited G.G. de Rossi's business about 1691); but the R.I.B.A. cataloguer has suggested that an issue with fewer plates may have been published earlier - perhaps in 1687 or 1688 (since Rossi's catalogue of 1686 does not mention the work, but his catalogue of 1689 lists 'Disegni di varij Altari, e Cerelle con le loro facciata ... Libro in 50. mezzi. fogli imperiali'). From this it is unclear whether copies with fewer than 50 plates, and those in early states (such as the Royal Academy's copy) are early editions or defective copies of a 50-plate work. The title-plate (if its indications are to be given weight) has the imprint of Gio. Giacomo de Rossi, who died ca. 1691, and a dedication signed by Gio. Iacomo de Rossi and addressed 'All' Illmo. ... Monsignor Gio. Francesco Albani Secretario de Brevi di Nostro Signore' with Albani's arms topped by a cardinal's hat (Albani was Secretary of Apostolic Briefs from 5 October 1687 to 1700, became Cardinal Deacon on 13 February 1690, was ordained priest in September 1700, appointed Pope (Clement XI) on 23 November 1700 and ordained bishop on 30 November 1700). (The RIBA catalogue records that in three copies of the 50-plate edition the word 'Illmo.' has been changed to 'Emo.', but does not make clear the bearing of this on the date of the work.) Individual plates may well have been circulated earlier; the only dated plate (pl. 10) still carries the date 1685.


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

Copy Note

This copy may be wanting ten plates (but see note above).

Binding Note

20th century calf; red morocoo spine-label, lettered, 'De Rossi Altari E Cappelle Di Rome'.


Altars - Chapels - Churches - Church decoration and ornament - Architecture, Italian - Italy - Rome - History - 16th century - 17th century - Renaissance - Baroque
Elevations - Plans - Italy - 17th century
Pictorial works - Italy - 17th century


Giovanni Giacomo de' Rossi, fl. 1638-1691, compiler
Clement XI Pope, Pope, 1649-1721, dedicatee
Ciro Ferri, 1634?-1689, draughtsman
Vicenzo Maria Mariotti, d. 1734, engraver
Pietro Antonio de Pitri, fl. 1680s, engraver
Giovanni Giacomo de' Rossi, 1627-1691, publisher
Giovanni Giacomo de' Rossi, 1627-1691, printer
Giovanni Francesco Venturini, 1650-1710, draughtsman, engraver