Large, Decorative Map of Rome with Vignette Views
Pietro Ruga, Venanzio Monaldini, Rome: 1829
Map of Rome
Detail of map
Detail of vignettes Detail of vignettes Detail of vignettes
Back of map

Pictured above, from top:
Full view of map, detail of map showing the Colosseum, details of vignettes, back of map showing linen backing, and slipcase (right) with bookseller's label.

Cover of map
Pietro Ruga (act. early 19th century) (engraver)
Pianta Della Citta di Roma, con la Indicazione di tutte le Antichita e Nuovi Abbellimenti
[Plan of the City of Rome, Indicating all of the Antiquities and New Decorations]

Venanzio Monaldini, Rome: 1829
Copperplate etching in 32 sheets, dissected and laid on original linen
Folding into original stiff card marbleized slipcase as issued
29.5 x 44.5 inches, overall
7.5 x 5.5 inches, slipcase
$4,800

Large, decorative map of Rome, Italy, flanked by 16 vignette architectural views (approximately 4 x 5 inches) on each side. The views are of both Roman ruins such as the Pantheon of Agrippa, Trajan's Column and the Colosseum (called here "Anfiteatro di Flavio"), and important city buildings such as St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, the Campidoglio and the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. The central map shows streets, plazas, significant buildings and landmarks, with a key in the lower left indicating some major monuments. A compass is drawn in the lower right. Beside it is a list of 14 neighborhoods of Rome, along with the map's publication information.

The map was marketed to foreign visitors on the Grand Tour; the label on the slipcase is titled “English Reading Room,” is in English and French, and advertises the Monaldini establishment, which in addition to publishing, operated a book and stationery store on the premises. It is the size of a wall map, and would be handsome framed as such, though it was issued dissected and laid onto a linen backing so it could be folded and placed in the accompanying original slipcase.

Pietro Ruga was an engraver active in Rome during the first half of the 19th century, best known for his architectural subjects. He engraved a series of plans of Rome from 1812, and produced several updated versions into at least the 1820s. He also illustrated other works such as a book on furniture and decorative arts by Lorenzo Roccheggiani in the first decade of the 19th century. Among his works were Les Ruines de Pompei (Paris, 1812-38) and Vedute Delle Porte e Mure di Roma, by A. Nibby.

Venanzio Monaldini was a publisher, bookseller and stationer in Rome, Italy, during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Full publication information on map, lower right: "In Roma/ Publicata a spese di Venanzio Monaldini, Libraio et Cartolaio in Piaz[za] di Spagna, No. 79 en. 1829."

Additional credit on map: "Pietro Ruga incise" [Pietro Ruga, engraver]

Label on slipcase: "English Reading Room. English, French, and Italian, newspapers. Rome, Place d'Espagne No. 79, Venance Monaldini Libraire. Plan de Rome antique et moderne. Assortimente de Livres, Italiens, Francais, Anglais &c. Estampes de Raphael, Morghen & d'autres Auteurs, toute espèce de papiers étrangers & autres objets d'Arts. Relieur de Livres de toutes les façons. On se charge aussi de faire graver et imprimer les Cartes de Visite par Frs. Valenti meilleur Artiste en ce genre." [Translation of French text: Venanzio Monaldini Bookstore. Plan of Ancient and Modern Rome. Assortment of Books in Italian, French, English, etc. Prints by Raphael, Morghen and other Authors, all kinds of foreign newspapers and other art objects. All kinds of bookbinding. One may also order engraved and printed visiting cards by Frs. Valenti, best artist in that genre.]

Handwritten below the text on the label in brown ink: "Nouveau plan de Rome Moderne, Prix 30 Pauls. [New plan of Modern Rome, Price 30 Pauls]."

Condition: Copperplate etching in 32 sheets, dissected and laid on original linen folding into original slipcase as issued. Map generally very good with the usual overall light toning and wear. Linen backing a bit aged, but still sound. Slipcase with usual overall light toning, wear, abrasions.

References:

Bénézit, E. Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs. France: Librairie Gründ, 1966. Vol. 7, p. 421.

Ceen, Allan. "Roma Delineata, 1748-1870." The Studium Urbis. http://www.studiumurbis.org/menu/exhibition00B.html (21 March 2007).