Guarini (Giovanni Battista), 1538-1612

Der Pastor Fido inventiert und gezeichnet durch Johann Wilhelm Baur zu Wienn in Österreich Anno 1640. Jezo aber zum Truck befertert verlegt wie auch in Kupffer gebracht durch Melchior Küsell in Augspurg Anno 1671

Augsburg, Melchior Küsell, 1671
Rare illustrated version of Guarini’s enormously popular pastoral tragicomedy Il Pastor Fido, conceived in Vienna in 1640 by Johann Wilhelm Baur, and realised after his death by the Augsburg engraver Melchior Küsell, who provided a rhyming synopsis in 336 lines (printed beneath the illustrations) and the eight lines of verse addressed “An den Leser” (printed beneath the title-plate).
Subjects
Book illustration - Artists, German - Baur (Johann Wilhelm), 1607-1642
Book illustration - Artists, German - Küsel (Melchior), 1626-1683
Literature, Italian - Translations into German - Early works to 1800
Authors/Creators
Guarini, Giovanni Battista, 1538-1612
Artists/Illustrators
Baur, Johann Wilhelm, 1607-1642
Küsel, Melchior, 1626-1683
Printers/Publishers
Küsel, Melchior, 1626-1683
Owners
Kloster Sankt Veit (Neumarkt, Germany)
Samet, Franz Joseph von, 1758-1828
Wiser, Marian, Benediktiner Abt zu St. Veit in Niederbaiern, died 1723

Guarini, Giovanni Battista
Ferrara 1538 – 1612 Venice

Der Pastor Fido inventiert und gezeichnet durch Johann Wilhelm Baur zu Wienn in Österreich Anno 1640. Jezo aber zum Truck befertert verlegt wie auch in Kupffer gebracht durch Melchior Küsell in Augspurg Anno 1671

Augsburg, Melchior Küsell, 1671

quarto (158 × 128 mm), (43) ff., complete, comprising a title and forty-two numbered leaves, each with an engraving (circa 92 × 70 mm) by Melchior Küsell after a design by Johann Wilhelm Baur imposed on recto together with eight lines of letterpress (versos blank).

provenance the Benedictine monastery of St Veit bei Neumarkt, located on the river Rott, with in­scription Monasterij S: Viti cis Rotham, in margin of title-plate1 ― Abt Marian Wieser (ruled 1695–1720), his heraldic exlibris Marianus D: G: Abbas Monasterii S: Viti cis Rotham on verso of title-plate ― Franz Joseph von Samet (1758–1828), Reichsarchivar, engraved heraldic exlibris Aux livres du Franc. Jos. Sameth on front paste-down2 ― Logos: Warszawski Antykwariat Naukowy, ‘Trzydziesta Warszawska Aukcja Antykwarska’, Warsaw, 14 May 2005, lot 64 ― F. Zisska & R. Kistner, Auktion 46, Munich, 19 October 2005, lot 1707

Light waterstaining affecting initial four leaves, fingerstained throughout; headcap of binding worn, minor abrasions.

bound in contemporary calf, panelled in gilt and blind, gilt ornaments in centres of covers.

Rare illustrated version of Guarini’s enormously popular pastoral tragicomedy Il Pastor Fido.

The edition was conceived in Vienna in 1640 by Johann Wilhelm Baur (1607–1642), an artist born at Strasbourg, who during the 1630s had travelled throughout Italy, become a proficient draughtsman of topographical views, architectural capriccios, battle scenes, mythological and religious subjects, and learnt printmaking. After his arrival in Vienna in late 1637, Baur set to work in earnest developing his portfolios of preparatory drawings into suites of prints. In 1640 appeared two small suites of etchings of harbours and sea­scapes, another of sixteen ‘Virtues and Vices’, some single prints, and in 1641 his principal work, a series of 150 etchings to Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Other publications were in hand when Baur died suddenly, in January 1642, at the age of 34.

The Augsburg engraver Melchior Küsell (1636–1683) acquired several hundred of Baur’s drawings after the death of the artist, including scenes of the life, miracles, and Passion of Jesus Christ, classical mythology, and views of the harbours, villas, and gardens of Italy. These Küsell turned into suites of prints, in the same size, with acknowledgment of Baur’s authorship. In 1670 Küsell published at Augsburg under the rubric Iconographia 148 of Baur’s designs, dedicated to the emperor Leopold, and in 1671 Underschidliche Prospecten, a suite containing forty topographical views. He also restruck Baur’s etchings of seascapes, and in 1681 Baur’s etchings of Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

Küsell’s contribution to the latter publications was limited to the provision of title-plates, dedications, and (where necessary) descriptive legends. For Il Pastor Fido, he went to more trouble, commissioning (from an anonymous author) a rhyming synopsis in 336 lines, which is printed letterpress beneath the illustrations,3 and the eight lines of verse addressed ‘An den Leser’ printed beneath the title-plate. Almost half of Baur’s drawings for the suite have survived and these show that Küsell again provided the plate captions identifying the scenes depicted.4

Seven copies of the book can be located, all in European libraries

● Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, RES-1138 (reproductions in Bonnefoit) Coburg, Kunst­sammlungen der Veste (reproductions in Hollstein) ● Göttingen, Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek, 8 Art Plast VIII, 3825 ● Stuttgart, Württembergische Landesbibliothek, two copies: RA 17 Bau 1 and HB 3388 ● Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, 739511–A. Alt Mag. ● Schweinfurt, Bibliothek Otto Schäfer, OS 10585

A copy allegedly dated 1674 is held by the Universitätsbibliothek, Augsburg (shelfmark 02/III.10.4.75).

references Georg K. Nagler, Neues Allgemeines Künstler-Lexikon (Munich 1835–1852), viii, p.111, no. 13; Charles Le Blanc, Manuel de l’amateur d’estampes, ii (Paris 1854), p.479, nos. 368–409; F.W.H. Hollstein, German etchings, engravings & woodcuts, 2 (Amsterdam 1954), p.162, no. 3 and volume 20 (Amsterdam 1977), pp.120–121, nos. 1402–1443 (reproducing title, plates 2, 8); Anny-Claire Haus, Johann Wilhelm Baur 1607–1642: Maniérisme et Baroque en Europe, catalogue of an exhibition held at the Palais Rohan, galerie Robert Heitz, Strasbourg, 14 March-7 June 1998 (Paris 1998), p.121

1. On the fortunes of this library, see Stephan Kellner and Annemarie Spethmann, Historische Kataloge der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek München: Münchner Hofbibliothek und andere Provenienzen (Wiesbaden 1996), pp.435–436.

2. Friedrich Warnecke, Die deutschen Bücherzeichen (Berlin 1890), no. 1843.

3. It apparently is an original work, not dependant on the German translations by Eilger Mannlich, Statius Ackermann, and Hofmann von Hofmannswaldau, published 1619–1652; see Frank-Rutger Hausmann and Volker Kapp, Bibliographie der deutschen Übersetzungen aus dem Italienischen von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart (Tübingen 1992), no. 522 note.

4. See Regine Bonnefoit, Johann Wilhelm Baur (1607–1642): Ein Wegbereiter der barocken Kunst in Deutschland (Berlin 1997), nos. Z-300–318, Abb. 315–316: drawings for plates 37, 42, from the origi­nals in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, dc; and nos. 303–345, Abb. 313–314: plates 2, 3.

5. Fünf Jahrhunderte Buchillustration. Meisterwerke der Buchgraphik aus der Bibliothek Otto Schäfer, catalogue of an exhibition, Germanisches nationalmuseum (Nürnberg 1987), pp.114–115 (reproducing plate 24).

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