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Ichnographia Villae Tiburtinae Hadriani Caesaris Olim A Pyrrho Ligorio Celeberrimo Architecto & Antiquario delineata & descripta, Postea A Francisco Continio Architecto summa cura recognita, & publici juris facta, Nunc denuo affabre aeri incisa, in elegantiorem & commodiorem formam redacta, addita expositione Latina.

RA Collection: Book

Record number


Variant Title

Pianta Della Villa Tiburtina Di Adriano Cesare Gia' Da Pirro Ligorio


Romae: MDCCLI., Ex Typographia Apollinea prope Campum Florae in Aedibus della Farnesina. Superiorum Facultate.

Physical Description

[iv], x, 30 p., [2] pl. (fold.); 342 mm. (Folio.)

General Note

The number of unnumbered preliminary pages is described by various cataloguers as 0, 2 or 4.


[T.p. (Latin), t.p. (Italian)] - Imprimatur - Typographi Ad Lectorem / Gli Stampatori A Chi Legge - [2 fold. plates] - Ichnographiae Villae Hadrianae Declaratio Generalis / Espozsizione Generale Della Pianta Della Villa Adriana - [Colophon].

Responsibility Note

The map is captioned as 'Pyrrho Ligorio et Francisco Continio delineata' and is signed by Francesco Mazzoni as engraver. The title-page vignette is signed as drawn and engraved by Dominicus Cigni.

The printers' name is given in the colophon: 'Romae MDCCLI Apud Haeredes Barbiellini'.


A. Ranaldi, Pirro Ligorio e l'interpretazione delle ville antiche (2001); E. Salza Prina Ricotti, 'Villa Adriana in Pirro Ligorio e Francesco Contini' in Atti & Memorie Accad. N. Lincei, Atti Cl. Sci. Morali XVII (1973-4) p.1-47; W.L. Macdonald & J.A. Pinto, Hadrian's Villa and its legacy (1995).

Summary Note

The work consists of two folding plates which together form a map of the Villa, followed by detailed notes in Latin and Italian, keyed to lettered and numbered points in the maps.

This republication of Contini's plan 'in more covenient form' was a response to growing interest in Hadrian's Villa. Though the site was mentioned in Palladio's Antichità (1554) and P. De l'Orme's Premier tome de l'architecture (1567), architects and artists had studied it by visiting in person or by consulting manuscript plans and sketches. Ligorio surveyed the Villa ca. 1550-1568, and Contini ca. 1634-7; but no plan by Ligorio was published (some of his plans of single buildings survive at Turin and Windsor Castle), and it was not until 1668 that Contini's Adriani Caesaris immanem in Tiburtino villam was published at Rome (11 plates with descriptions). In 1723 Ligorio's Descrizzione was at length published at Leiden; in 1751 came the present reissue of Contini; which was followed by Piranesi's vedute and his Pianta, published by his son in 1781.

The British joined in the excavation of the site, and some spectacular finds were made (Gavin Hamilton's led to the dispersal to Britain of the Warwick Vase and other sculptures). The architectural influence of the Villa, with its full repertoire of Roman complex and vaulted forms ranging well beyond Vitruvian 'norms', was felt across Europe - from Adam's work in Britain to Cameron's in Russia.


Acquired between 1769 and 1802. Recorded in Catalogue Of The Library In The Royal Academy, London (1802).

Binding Note

20th-century half calf; buckram-covered boards; red morocco spine-label, lettered 'Ligorio Della Di Adriano' [sic].

Name as Subject


Architecture, Roman - Villas, Roman - Palaces, Roman - Garden structures - Gardens - Italy - Lazio - Tivoli - History - 2nd century
Maps - Art history - Italy - 17th century - 18th century
Pictorial works - Italy - 18th century


Francesco Contini, source artist
Pirro Ligorio, source artist
Francesco Mazzoni, engraver
Domenico Cigni, draughtsman, engraver
Eredi Barbiellini (Rome), printer
Typographia Apollinea, printer