Prints from the finest 18th-century collection of secular and eccesiastical designs for silversmiths and goldsmiths by Giovanni Giardini, a leading artisan in Rome. First published in Prague in 1714 under the title Disegni Diversi [Various Designs], the prints include vases, candelabra, tables and various ornaments in a style influenced by late Italian Baroque art and design, especially the work of sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) and architect Francesco Borromini (1599-1667). While some of the designs in Giardini’s plates would be impractical to actually execute in precious metal, they did influence Roman artistic gold and silver production over the next 100 years or so. The plates shown here were part of a 1750 reissue using the original copper plates.
Giovanni Giardini was a draughtsman, silversmith, gem-carver and bronze caster. After an apprenticeship to the silversmith Marco Gamberucci, he became qualified as a master silversmith. He soon became an esteemed member of the silversmiths’ guild with a successful business, in which he was joined by his brotherAlessandro in 1680. In 1698, he was named bronze-founder for the papacy, completing important commissions for the papal court, including objects which are today in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Kunsthistorische Museum in Vienna, as well as St. Peter’s in Rome. His influential collection of designs for sacred and secular objects originally published as Disegni Diversi (1714) and later reissued in Rome by Fausto Amideo as Promptuarium artis argentariae (1750) is considered the finest 18th-century collection of patterns for silversmiths.
Maximilian Joseph Limpach was a Czech engraver born in Prague, active in the early 18th century. He worked in Rome for the Vatican printshop. His best-known works are the 100 plates he engraved after Giovanni Giardini for Disegni Diversi (1714).
Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall minor toning. Some scattered discoloration, staining, confined to margins, some wear to outer margins, can be matted out. Some with faint plate numbers by hand in ink.
Bénézit, E. Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs. France: Librairie Gründ, 1966. Vol. 5, p. 585.
“Giovanni Giardini.” The Grove Dictionary of Art. New York: Macmillan. 2000. Artnet.com. http://www.artnet.com/library/03/0320/T032096.asp (27 August 2004).