Picturæ Antiquæ Cryptarum Romanarum, Et Sepulcri Nasonum Delineatae, & expressae ad Archetypa A Petro Sancti Bartholi Et Francisco Ejus Filio Descriptae vero, & illustratae A Johanne Petro Bellorio Et Michaele Angelo Causseo Opus Latine redditum, proditque absolutius & exactius cum Appendice nunquam edita.

Giovanni Pietro Bellori

RA Collection: Book

Record number




Romae: Anno Jubilaei MDCCL., Ex Typographia Antonii De Rubeis Præsidum Permissu.

Physical Description

xii, 110 p., 24 (on 12 sheets), 35 (on 18 sheets), 16 (on 8 sheets), 19 [i.e. 20] (on 17 sheets) pl.: illus.; 461 mm. (Folio.)

General Note

In the fourth group of plates there is a bis pl. [18]. This group is numbered 'I-XVII', [two unnumbered], 'XIX'. The two plates serving as plates 'XVIIIa' and 'XVIIIb' are numbered within the plate as '60' and '61', as if reprinted here from some other work. Seven pl. in this group are dble. Each group of plates is followed by explanatory letter-press. In the Royal Academy's copy the first two plates of the fourth group have been bound in at the end of the plates of the third group.


[Half-t., t.p., dedic.] - Ad Lectorem Admonitio - Operis Prolegomena - [Pl. I-XXIV] - Animadversiones Michaelis Angeli Causei ... [on preceding pl. I-XXIV] - Index Tabularum [1-XXIV] - [Plates I-XXXV] - Veterum Picturæ Sepulcri Nasoniorum Explicatæ ... Johanne Petro Bellorio [on preceding pl. I-XXXV] - Index Tabularum [I-XXXV] - [Plates I-XVI, I-II] - Alia Quædam Sepulcrorum Monumenta, Ac Feralia Nonnulla Michaelis-Angeli Causei Opera collecta ac animadversionibus illustrata [on preceding pl. I-XVI] - Index Monumentorum Sepulcral. In Appendice [index of preceding pl. I-XVI] - [Plates III-XVII, [1-2], XIX] - Animadversiones Ad Appendicem Veterum Musivorum, Et Picturarum [on preceding pl. I-XIX] - Index Rerum Notabiliorum.

Responsibility Note

No plate of the first three groups is signed. In the last group five plates carry the draughtsman's signature of 'Petrus Sancte Bartoli' (pl. 2, 4-7); nine carry signatures of engravers - 'F. Ant. Pazzi' (pl. 10-14, 19), 'Joseph Vasi' (pl. 15), Filippo Morghen (pl. 16, 17).

In-text vignette, headpieces and initials are unsigned - apart from the dedication headpiece, signed as painted and made by Duflos.

The publication is dedicated by 'Johannes Bottarius' to Pope Benedict XIV. One plate in the first group (pl. X) carries its own dedication, 'Ianni Baptistæ Tit. S. Cæsarei Cardli. Spinulæ ... Franciscus Bartolus'.


RIBA, Early printed books, I (1994), no. 214, p.121-2.

G. Messineo, La tomba dei Nasonii (2000).

Summary Note

This work had first been published in 1738. It is a Latin translation of the book published in 1706 in Italian, entitled Le Pitture Antiche Delle Grotte Di Roma, E Del Sepolcro De' Nasoni Disegnate, & intagliate ... Da Pietro Santi Bartoli, E Francesco Bartoli ... Descritte ... Da Gio: Pietro Bellori, E Michelangelo Causei Dela Chausse. (An earlier Latin account of the tomb of the Nasonii by P. Santi Bartoli had been published in 1699, and an Italian version in 1680.) The 1706 Italian version of the book had only three groups of plates with explanatory texts. This Latin edition is published 'cum Appendice nunquam edita', i.e. with a fourth group of plates and explanatory text.

The painted walls and vaults of the tomb of the Nasonii on the Via Flaminia had first been unearthed in 1674.

The plates of both the Latin and the Italian editions show not only paintings of this and other tombs but also stucchi, mosaics, lamps, vases and other objects.


The front pastedown carries the book-plate of 'Walter Wilson'. Purchased for the RA Library in 1884 (see RA Annual Report for 1884, p. 56).

Copy Note

The front pastedown carries the label of the bookseller, 'B.T. Batsford Architectural & Engineering Bookseller 52 High Holborn London W.C.'

Binding Note

19th-century half red morocco, marbled-papered boards; gilt-decorated spine, lettered 'Picturæ Antiquæ Romanarum - Bellori' and '1750'.

Name as Subject


Mural painting and decoration, Roman - Painting, Roman - Frescoes - Pavements, Mosaic - Antiquities, Roman - Tombs - Italy - Rome
Art history - Italy - 18th century
Pictorial works - Italy - 18th century


Michel Ange de La Chausse
Pietro Santi Bartoli, engraver., draughtsman
Francesco Bartoli, engraver.
Antonio de' Rossi, printer
Antonio Pazzi, engraver
Giuseppe Vasi, engraver
Filippo Morghen, engraver
Giovanni Gaetano Bottari
Benedict XIV Pope, dedicatee
Walter Wilson, previous owner
Claude Duflos le jeune, source-artist, engraver
B. T. Batsford Ltd., bookseller, previous owner