Raccolta di varie decorazioni sceniche inventate e dipinte per l'I. R. Teatro alla Scala.
Oblong folio (485 x 405 mm). T. p. and 62 engr., hand-coloured etchings by A. Sanquirico (all on paper with watermark "J. Whatman, Turkey Mill"); tissue guards (watermark "FB") preserved throughout. Contemp. green boards with elaborate gilt neo-classical decoration. In same-coloured original slipcase.
First edition of Sanquirico's synoptic collection of his work, complete in 62 plates, never sold in the regular book trade and presented by the artist only to the highest dignitaries. "La grandiosa collezione del Sanquirico, in fogli di grande formato, stampati e colorati con estrema cura, era evidentemente destinata a clienti 'facoltosi'" (Ferrero). In 1818 Sanquirico set out to publish all the theatre decorations he had executed. The inked and coloured series of etchings was completed in 1829. Sanquirico is considered the best stage designer of his time. From 1817 to 1832 he was "scenografico unico" at the Milano "Scala", where he was much admired for his inexhaustible production of new creations. "He is a master of perspective, and a painter of the finest taste; capable of creating magical effects through colour and light. Every one of his decorations is possessed of a unique magic and rich versatility of invention. There was not an opera in which Sanquirico, apart from the celebrated singers, did not also celebrate his triumph" (Nagler). "La sua attività coincise con uno dei periodi più interessante della lirica italiana, quando ai nomi ormai famosi di Mayr, Mozart e Meyerbeer si alternavano quelli di Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti e Pacini, e il balletto italiano trovava la sua nova espressione nelle pantomime eroiche" (Enc. dello Spettacolo). For this present album, Sanquirico used the best paper available, the strong velin made by the Turkey Mill on which James Audubon also printed his 'Birds of America' (cf. Bannon/Clark, Handbook of Audubon Prints, 35). The colouring is masterfully executed, showing exceptional brilliance. Hundreds of fine hues - in the tropical flora, in the precious costumes of the exotic peoples, in the luminescent pink clouds over the evening landscapes - lend these scenes a unique beauty and atmospheric splendour.
Immaculate, entirely spotless copy in the original boards as issued. Merely the matching slipcase shows traces of restoration, otherwise entirely untouched.
Removed from the library of the Dukes of Bavaria at Tegernsee castle.
Wurzbach XXVIII, 196. Nagler XVI, 135. Enc. dello Spettacolo VIII, 1483. M. V. Ferrero, La Scenografia della Scala nell'età neoclassica, Milan 1983, 91-140.