The First Illustrated Edition of Fulvio's Architectural Guide to Rome - With Important Additions by Girolamo Ferrucci

Fulvio, Andrea (ca. 1470-1543); Ferrucci, Girolamo (fl. 1588)

L' Antichità di Roma di Andrea Fulvio antiquiario romano, di nuouo con ogni diligenza corretta & ampliata, con gli adornamenti di disegni de gli edificij antichi & moderni; con le aggiuntioni & annotationi di Girolamo Ferrucci Romano

Venice: Girolamo Francini, 1588


Octavo: 15.4 x 10.8 cm. *4, A-Z8, Aa-Ii8, Kk12

FIRST ILLUSTRATED EDITION (the first edition, without woodcuts, appeared in 1527).

18thc. mottled calfskin (wear to extremities, small scrapes), the spine richly tooled in gold, with the author and title tooled onto a citron morocco label. Internally good, the title trimmed closely at the head, a few small stains, intermittent moderate damp-staining.

Illustrated with 93 woodcut illustrations of the architecture of Rome. This edition has been enlarged by Girolamo Ferrucci to include information on the dramatic renovations and new buildings constructed during the reign of Pope Sixtus V (reg. 1585-1590). A number of the changes, renovations and restorations undertaken by Sixtus are depicted in the woodcuts, which were prepared specifically for this this edition. For example, the obelisks of St. Peter's, Santa Croce, the Lateran, etc., which were erected by Sixtus to serve as focal points for his new scheme of roads, are shown in their new locations. The bronze statues of St. Peter and Paul, placed on the columns of Trajan and Antoninus Pius in 1587, are also shown. Ferrucci's "Appendice" begins on folio 190 and concludes on folio 240.

Fulvio's "Antiquitates" is a guide to the city of Rome and its principal antiquities by one of the most learned early 16th-century antiquarians. The first edition of the present work was written at the behest of Leo X; it appeared in Latin in 1527, just weeks before the sack of Rome, and thus serves as a critical document for the city before the havoc wrought by the armies of Charles V.

Fulvio, like his contemporaries Marco Fabio Calvi and Raphael, worked on a project for the restoration of ancient Rome. Both Calvi's “Antiqvae vrbis Romae Simvlachrvm” and Fulvio’s “Antiquitates” were printed at Rome in 1527 and “could be considered complementary, text and illustration on the same subject." (Mortimer)

"Several writers testify to Raphael's work on his pictorial reconstruction of ancient Rome in 1519-20, among them Andrea Fulvio, who was apparently the antiquarian adviser of the venture and went about with Raphael, pointing out what should be included in the survey; and this Raphael duly drew." (Weiss, Renaissance Discovery, p. 96)

"It is no exaggeration to say that the 'Antiquitates' shows the result of a lifetime dedicated to the study of ancient Rome. Fulvio did not look at the ruins with the eyes of an architect, but rather with those of a historian and antiquarian, just as Biondo had done before him. And, like his great predecessor, Fulvio did not limit his sources to the literary field. He in fact made a wide use of inscriptions, of which he frequently gave the text in full. Nor were these classical only, but medieval and even contemporary inscriptions were also considered by him, just as he did not overlook the evidence offered by ancient coins." (Weiss, Renaissance Discovery, p. 88)

Choix notes that the present edition of Fulvio's "Antiquitates" is important for the information it provides concerning the changing face of Rome in the late 1580's. In the course of his brief reign (1585-1590), Pope Sixtus V embarked upon an ambitious program of building projects and renovations, the results of which are everywhere evident in the modern city. "He built the Lateran Palace; completed the Quirinal; restored the Church of Santa Sabina on the Aventine; rebuilt the Church and Hospice of San Girolamo dei Schiavoni; enlarged and improved the Sapienza; founded the hospice for the poor near the Ponte Sisto; built and richly ornamented the Chapel of the Cradle in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore; completed the cupola of St. Peter's; raised the obelisks of the Vatican, of Santa Maria Maggiore, of the Lateran, and of Santa Maria del Popolo; restored the columns of Trajan and of Antoninus Pius, placing the statue of St. Peter on the former and that of St. Paul on the latter; erected the Vatican Library with its adjoining printing-office and that wing of the Vatican Palace which is inhabited by the pope; built many magnificent streets; erected various monasteries; and supplied Rome with water, the "Acqua Felice", which he brought to the city over a distance of twenty miles, partly under ground, partly on elevated aqueducts."(Catholic Encyclopedia)

Cicognara 3741; Schudt 601; Rossetti, Rome: The Guide Books, G 480; Borroni 7914/6; Fossati-Bellani 900; Platneriana 296; Choix, 16979; Adams F 1155; Philip Jacks in Dictionary of Art XI.838 & his "The Antiquarian and the myth of antiquity", pp. 180-84; R Weiss, "Andrea Fulvio antiquario romano 1470-1527", Ann. Scuol. Sup. Pisa ii.28 (1959) 1-44, & "Renaissance Discovery of Classical Antiquity" (1969), 86-9 & 178-9.