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Opere di Canova e Thorwaldsen [grand tour cameos]

Opere di Canova e Thorwaldsen [grand tour cameos] by PAOLETTTI, Bartolomeo & Pietro; Bertel Antonio Canova; Thorwaldsen (1835)
Author: PAOLETTTI, Bartolomeo & Pietro; Bertel Antonio Canova; Thorwaldsen
Title: Opere di Canova e Thorwaldsen [grand tour cameos]
Year: 1835
Publisher: Bartolomeo and Pietro Paolette
Place: Rome, Italy
Dust Jacket: No
Signed: No
Price: £1500
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Book-shaped memento of the Grand Tour with 40 plaster casts of cameos and intaglios created by Bartolomeo and Pietro Paoletti in Rome, after sculptures by Antonio Canova and Bertel Thorvaldsen, mounted in a double-sided container. A manuscript index inside the front cover identifies nineteen plaster images after Canova and three by 'Thorwaldsen' which are mounted on the page facing, and a similar manuscript index inside the rear cover which lists a further sixteen plaster images after Thorvaldsen mounted on the facing page as well as identifying sculptures such as: 'La Fucina di Vulcano' by Thorvaldsen, and after Canova - with additional location information: 'La dansatrices, in Pietersburg' - St Petersburg. At the end of the index is written: 'Si fanno in Roma da Bartolomeo Paoletti, e Pietro Figlio, dimoranti di Studio in Piazza di Spagna num[er]o 49' (an identical annotation to that found on a set at the Getty Institute which holds 34 Canova/ Thorvaldsen casts, OCLC 85173089). Each of these casts has a narrow gilt mount and they are generally in excellent condition. Two only of the Canova's show minor damage: Canova 2 has two small chips at the base; Canova's Hercules has a thin crack; the Thorvaldsens are uniformly fine. The book box which is bound in half tan calf over marbled boards is a little rubbed but otherwise very good with a spine label that reads: 'Paoletti Opere Di Canova e Thorwaldsen'. Cameo casts became popular among Roman connoisseurs of the eighteenth century and were turned into popular souvenirs for Grand Tour travelers in the early nineteenth century. Bartolomeo Paoletti (1757-1834) and his son Pietro (1801-1847) were successful exponents of this trade, numbering among their clients Catherine the Great of Russia and Ferdinand III, Grand Duke of Tuscany. Although the firm carried on after Pietro's death, the annotation makes clear that this is a lifetime set probably made in the 1830s or early 1840s. Examples of the Paolettis' works are held in the Victoria & Albert Museum, and the Yale Center for British Art.
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