"Candelabro in grande" designed by Giocondo Albertolli for the Palazzo Belgiojoso d’Este in Milan (from Alcune decorazioni di nobili sale, pl. XV; platemark 465 × 310 mm) View larger
"Candelabro in grande" designed by Giocondo Albertolli for the Palazzo Belgiojoso d’Este in Milan (from Alcune decorazioni di nobili sale, pl. XV; platemark 465 × 310 mm)
Pattern books for students in the Scuola d’Ornato of the Accademia di Brera
Albertolli (Giocondo), 1742-1839

Ornamenti Diversi Inventati Disegnati ed eseguiti Da Giocondo Albertolli Professore d’Ornati nella Reale Accademia di Belle Arti in Milano Incisi da Giacomo Mercoli Luganese Si vendono dallo stesso Albertolli in Milano

Milan, Giocondo Albertolli, [1782]-1787-1796 (but probably issued c. 1796)
A series of influential works documenting both interior decoration completed by Giocondo Albertolli and ornament he had observed on his travels around Italy. One of the most important taste-makers of his day, Albertolli was the professor of drawing and ornament in the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan, where he taught his own brand of neoclassicism to an entire generation, from the founding of the academy in 1776 until 1812. These three works – together with a Corso elementare di ornamenti architettonici, a suite of twenty-eight plates published in 1805 – became the “principale strumento didattico a disposizione degli allievi della scuola d’ornato” (Giuseppe Beretti), and further spread Albertolli’s ideas in Italy and abroad.

Bound with Albertolli, Giocondo. Alcune decorazioni di nobili sale ed altri ornamenti di Giocondo Albertolli Professore nella Reale Accademia delle Belle Arti in Milano Incisi da Giacomo Mercoli e da Andrea de Barnardis MDCCLXXXVII.
Bound with Albertolli, Giocondo. Miscellanea per i giovani studiosi del disegno pubblicata da Giocondo Albertolli Professore Nella Reale Accademia delle Belle Arti in Milano L’Anno MDCCXCVI. Parte terza. Si ritrova presso allo stesso Albertolli in Milano.

Subjects
Architectural books - Early works to 1800
Architecture - Study and teaching - Early works to 1800
Architecture, Italian - Albertolli (Giocondo), 1742-1839
Book illustration - Pattern books - Early works to 1800
Decorative arts - Furniture - Early works to 1800
Authors/Creators
Albertolli, Giocondo, 1742-1839
Artists/Illustrators
Albertolli, Giocondo, 1742-1839
Albertolli, Raffaele, 1770-1812
Aspari, Carlo Antonio, died 1833
De Bernardis, Andrea, 1760-1837
Longhi, Giuseppe, 1766-1831
Mantelli, Girolamo, active c. 1785-c. 1790
Mercoli, Giacomo, 1745-1825
Mercoli, Michelangelo, 1773-1802
Piermarini, Giuseppe, 1734-1808
Printers/Publishers
Albertolli, Giocondo, 1742-1839
Owners
Mansfield and Mansfield, Earls of (Scone Palace library)
Other names
Accademia di Belle Arti (Milan)
Busca Arconati Visconti, Lodovico, 1758-1841
Wilczek, Johann Joseph von, 1738-1819

Albertolli, Giocondo
Bedano 1742 – 1839 Milan

Ornamenti Diversi Inventati Disegnati ed eseguiti Da Giocondo Albertolli Professore d’Ornati nella Reale Accademia di Belle Arti in Milano Incisi da Giacomo Mercoli Luganese Si vendono dallo stesso Albertolli in Milano.

Bound with

Alcune decorazioni di nobili sale ed altri ornamenti di Giocondo Albertolli Professore nella Reale Accademia delle Belle Arti in Milano Incisi da Giacomo Mercoli e da Andrea de Barnardis mdcclxxxvii.

Bound with

Miscellanea per i giovani studiosi del disegno pubblicata da Giocondo Albertolli Professore Nella Reale Accademia delle Belle Arti in Milano L’Anno mdccxcvi. Parte terza. Si ritrova presso allo stesso Albertolli in Milano.

Milan, Giocondo Albertolli, [1782] – 1787 – 1796 [but probably issued together circa 1796]

Three parts in one volume, broadsheets (627 × 483 mm).

i: Ornamenti diversi, (24) ff., comprising engraved title (transcribed above), engraved dedication by Albertolli to the architect Giuseppe Piermarini (dated at Milan, 25 February 1782), and twenty-four numbered plates of vari­ous sizes (platemarks 225 × 155 mm to 465 × 265 mm; nos. xxi–xxiv imposed in pairs on two sheets) engraved by Giacomo Mercoli (nos. ii–iii, iv dated 1778, v–xi, xii dated 1781, xiii, xiv dated 1782, xv–xvi, xvii dated 1781, xviii–xx) and Carlo Antonio Aspari (nos. i, xxi–xxiv) after designs by Giocondo Albertolli.

ii: Alcune decorazioni di nobili sale, (26) ff., comprising engraved title (transcribed above), engraved dedication by Albertolli to Count Johann Joseph Wilczek (dated at Milan, 20 May 1787), letterpress address L’Autore a chi legge (printed on recto and verso of one leaf), and twenty-three numbered plates (platemarks mostly 460 × 320 mm) engraved by Giacomo Mercoli (nos. iii, vii, ix, xii–xv, xvi dated 1785, xvii, xx–xxi, xxiii) and Andrea de Bernardis (nos. i–ii, iv–vi, viii dated 1784, x, xi dated 1787, xviii–xix, xxii) after designs by Giocondo Albertolli (xxiii dated 1788).

iii: Miscellanea, (22) ff., comprising engraved title (tran­scribed above), engraved dedication by Albertolli to Lodovico Galeazzo Busca Arconati Visconti, marchese di Lomagna (dated at Milan, 2 April 1796), and twenty num­bered plates of various sizes (platemarks 265 × 270 mm to 490 × 540 mm; nos. xii–xiii achieved by two matrices) engraved by Giacomo Mercoli (nos. i–ii, iv–vi, viii, xix), Michelangelo Mercoli (nos. x dated 1795, xii/b, xx), Giuseppe Longhi (no. iii dated 1792), Girolamo Mantelli (no. xv dated 1796; a stipple engraving), and Raffaello Albertolli (nos. vii, ix, xi, xii/a, xiii/a–b, xiv, xvi dated 1794, xvii–xviii both dated 1793; nos. vii, xi, xvi, xvii, xviii printed in sepia), after designs by Giocondo (nos. ix, xi dated 1793, xii/b, xvi, xix–xx) and his son Raffaele Albertolli (nos. xiv, xv, xvii, xvii).

paper the three parts printed on the same thick laid paper watermarked v m, except sheet of letterpress (in part ii) printed on a similar, unwatermarked paper; lower deckle edge occasionally preserved by the binder.

Extra-illustrated with a hand-coloured print Tria pavimenta tessellata Romani operis ... quae in agro Wintertoniae, Lincolniensis… anno mdccxlvii primum reperiebantur | Drawn by W. Fowler Winterton 1796 | Engraved by J. Hill London from William Fowler’s Engravings of the principal mosaic pave­ments (1796–1804) bound in as a frontispiece (this plate alone some­what browned).1

provenance Earls of Mansfield and Mansfield, Scone Palace, Perthshire — Christie’s, ‘Scone Palace & Blairquhan: The Selected Contents of Two Great Scottish Houses’, London, 24 May 2007, lot 329

Occasional spotting in margins and light marking, other­wise a clean and crisp copy. Edges and corners of the binding slightly rubbed and scuffed.

binding contemporary English half-calf over marbled boards, back decorated in gilt.

A series of influential works documenting both interior decoration completed by Giocondo Albertolli and ornament he had observed on his travels around Italy. ‘One of the most important taste-makers of his day’,2 Albertolli was the professor of drawing and ornament in the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan, where he taught his own brand of neo­classicism to an entire generation, from the founding of the academy in 1776 until 1812. These three works – together with a Corso elementare di ornamenti architettonici, a suite of twenty-eight plates published in 1805 – became the ‘principale strumento didattico a disposizione degli allievi della scuola d’ornato’,3 and further spread Albertolli’s ideas in Italy and abroad.4

In 1774, upon the success of decorations completed in Parma and Tuscany, Albertolli had been invited by the imperial and royal architect, Giuseppe Piermarini, to decorate the Palazzo Arciducale in Milan. The first work in our volume, Ornamenti diversi (1782), records on fifteen plates stucco ceiling decorations he designed for the ‘Camere di Conver­sazione’, ‘Camere da Letto’, ‘Gabinetto nobile’, ‘Gabinetto famigliare’, and ‘Sala di Udienza’, and also two-light and four-light girandoles ‘situato lateralmente alle Caminiere’ (see Fig. 3).5 Three plates document Albertolli’s decorations in the ‘Sale di Compagnia’ of the Villa Reale in Monza,6 and another a ceiling he designed for the Palzzazo Casnedi (1776) in Milan.7 These three projects also had been undertaken at the behest of Piermarini, and it is no surprise that Albertolli dedicates the publication to him, crediting Piermarini for bringing back good taste to Milan. The rest of the Ornamenti diversi is not linked to specific projects: four plates are designs for sculptured ornament emblematic of the ‘Belle Arti’, ‘Scienze’, ‘Musica’, ‘Pastorale’ (pls. xxiii–xxiv); one is drawn after the antique (pl. i: ‘Il presente Ornato é preso dall’antico, e fú inciso anche nel Cinquecento, trovandosene ancora qualche coppie in alcune racolte d’Italia’).

Fig. 1 A Roman mask of Medusa, drawn by Giocondo Albertolli and engraved by his son Raffaele for students at the Accademia di Brera in Milan (from Miscellanea per i giovani studiosi del disegno, pl. xvii; platemark 297 × 350 mm)
Fig. 2 Candelabro in grande designed by Giocondo Albertolli for the Palazzo Belgiojoso d’Este in Milan (from Alcune decorazioni di nobili sale, pl. xv; platemark 465 × 310 mm)
Fig. 3 Two-light girandole designed by Giocondo Albertolli for the Palazzo Arciducale in Milan (from Ornamenti diversi, pl. xix; platemark 420 × 265 mm)

Albertolli’s second work, Alcune decorazioni di nobili sale ed altri ornamenti, dedicated in 1787 to the governor-general of Milan, Johann Joseph Wilczek (1738–1819), also com­bines designs for completed projects with plates of architectural details drawn after the antique, but is altogether less technical than its predecessor. In a letterpress address ‘L’Autore a chi legge’, the author indicates that it is intended ‘di giovane all’avanzamento de’giovane’, and proceeds to elaborate his teaching theory. Four plates in the new work are plans, profiles, and details of the ceiling and cornices of the ‘Sala de pransi’ in the Villa Reale in Monza, and another two plates show a carved door, and two stools and a sofa designed by Albertolli for its other rooms;8 four plates document a fireplace and overmantel, a three-light girandole, a doorway, and a fireplace ‘in marmo di Carrara’ designed for the Palazzo Arciducale in Milan;9 four plates show the ceilings of two rooms and an ‘Ornamento di un altare’ designed for the Palazzo Belgiojoso d’Este in Milan (remodelled by Piermarini 1772–1781) (see Fig. 2);10 one plate shows a faldistorio commissioned by Archbishop Filippo Maria Visconti for the Duomo;11 and another plate a frieze commissioned by Christian Wilhelm Steinauer, director of the Meissen Porcelain Manufactory (pl. xxiii).

Other decoration documented in Alcune decorazioni di nobili sale is not precisely identified: three candleholders designed ‘per alcuni amici dell’Autore’ (pl. xix), table silver designed ‘per un Cavaliere Cremonese’ (pls. xx–xxii); and two types of Corinthian capitals drawn from the antique (pls. xi–xii),12 probably associated with models of Corinthian capitals made by Albertolli for the architect Carlo Vanvitelli, for use in his church of SS. Annun­ziata in Naples, or perhaps with a model ‘three Roman palms high’ made for Piermarini.13

Fig. 4 Marble bas-relief designed by Giocondo Albertolli for the Cattedrale di San Lorenzo in Lugano (from Miscellanea per i giovani studiosi del disegno, pl. xix; platemark 333 × 172 mm)

In his third publication, the Miscellanea per i giovani studiosi del disegno (1796), dedicated to Lodovico Galeazzo Busca Arconati Visconti, marchese di Lomagna (1758–1841), Albertolli presents examples of ornament (none of his own projects) intended to help stu­dents design and later compose ornament. Eight plates show carved ornament presumably drawn by Albertolli on his travels in Rome and Tuscany: details of two fragments in the Orti Farnesiani (pls. i–ii), ‘un Basso-rilievo in marmo lavorato di Cinquecentisti’ (pl. iv), ‘un pilastro nella Casa detta dell’Opera del Duomo in Firenze’ (pls. vi, viii), ‘uno de balaustri di marmo che si vedono alla scala del Pulpito nel Duomo di Siena’ (pl. xiii/b), an unspecified bas-relief (pl. xvi), and ‘un Bassorilievo in marmo, che si vede in uno de’pilastri delle porte sulla facciata della Insigne Basilica di San Lorenzo in Lugano’ (pl. xix) (see Fig. 4).14 A plate inscribed ‘Tratto da una scultura in bronzo di Benvenuto Cellini Fiorentino’ (pl. xx) may have been drawn after an object observed in Tuscany.

Five plates present the eagle, either drawn from life or with the laurel wreath and snake, latterly adopted as the symbols of the Cisalpine Republic: ‘Studio d’Aquila nella sua natu­rale grandezza’ (pl. iii), ‘Dal vero, della stessa grandezza’ (pl. v), a plate without any inscription (pl. vii), ‘Dal naturale l’anno 1794’ (pl. ix), a plate without any inscrip­tion (pl. xi, dated 1793).15 Another presents ‘Cornucopia simbolo d’abbondanza’ (pl. x).

Some of Giocondo Albertolli’s drawings for the Miscellanea were engraved by his son, Raffaele (1770–1812), a student in the Brera and later pupil of Appiani, who became an Academician of the Brera in 1803, and thereafter assisted his father in the school of orna­ment. Some plates were both drawn and engraved by Raffaele, including several in aquatint, a technique which he is said to have introduced into Milan. Raffaele’s designs show heads in profile (pls. xii/a, xiii/a-b, xiv), an eagle ‘Dal naturale’ (pl. xv dated 1796), and a ‘Medusa tratta dall’antico’ (pls. xvii–xviii), apparently a Roman copy of a Greek original (of the type of the Rondanini Medusa in Munich) (see Fig. 1).

The original issue of the Ornamenti diversi is reputed to be printed on smaller and less white paper than the subsequent issues and two succeed­ing works,16 but this has proved impos­sible to ver­ify. Albertolli himself states that the original issue of Alcune decorazioni di nobili sale was ‘stampate in carta d’Olanda’.17 As the title and dedication of that work are dated 1787, and one plate (pl. xxiii) is dated 1788, an identifying fea­ture of the origi­nal issue is probably the absence of this twenty-third plate.18

The three works were often issued together. The British Library has a copy (Cup. 648. h. 20) printed on an unwatermarked laid paper, but otherwise like our own. In a second British Library copy (1899 p. 24), the leaf of letterpress in Alcune decorazioni di nobili sale is re-set,19 and all the plates in the Miscellanea printed in black (a similar copy is in the National Art Library at the Victoria & Albert Museum, 51.H.52). A new edition of the three works was published ‘Presso gli editori Pietro e Giuseppe Vallardi… e dagli eredi Albertolli’ in 1843.20

references Leopoldo Cicognara, Catalogo ragionato dei libri d’arte e d’antichità posseduti dal Conte Cicognara (Pisa 1821), nos. 390–392; Katalog der Ornamentstichsammlung Berlin (1939), nos. 595 (parts i–ii, early issue of part ii comprising twenty-two plates) and 596 (parts iiii, later issue of part ii, lacking dedications in iii); British Architectural Library, Early printed books 1478–1840. Vol. 1, A–D (London 1994), nos. 64, 61, 63 (in one volume); Enrico Colle, Giocondo Albertolli: i repertori d’ornato: the repertoires of decoration (Cinisello Balsamo 2002), pp.44–55: ‘Giocondo Albertolli: biographical details useful for the history of neoclassical ornament’; Il trionfo dell’ornato: Giocondo Albertolli (1742–1839), catalogue of an exhibition by Enrico Colle and Fernando Mazzocca, Pinacoteca Cantonale Giovanni Züst, Rancate (Cinisello Balsamo 2005)

1. See Colin Franklin, ‘William Fowler of Winterton’ in The Book Collector 53 (2004), pp.381–412.

2. Mary L. Myers, Architectural and ornamental drawings: Juvarra, Vanvitelli, the Bibiena Family, & other Italian draughtsmen, catalogue of an exhibition in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York 1975), p.11.

3. Giuseppe Beretti, ‘Giocondo Albertolli: le volte per il Palazzo Arciducale di Milano e la “nuova maniera d’ornare”’ in Rassegna di studi e di notizie 21 (1997), p.68, citing a statement of Giuseppe Bossi, Secretary of the Brera from 1801–1807; see also, Anna Finocchi, ‘La scuola d’ornato dell’ Accademia di Brera e Giocondo Albertolli’ in Architettura in Emilia-Romagna dall’illumi­nismo alla restaurazione: atti del convegno (Florence 1977), pp.159–169.

4. On the use of Albertolli’s engraved works in England, for example, see Roger Smith, ‘Benjamin Vulliamy’s Library: A Collection of Neo-Classical Design Sources’ in The Burlington Magazine 141 (1999), p.334.

5. Ornamenti diversi (1782), pls. ii–x, xiv–xvii, xix–xx. Beretti, op. cit., 1997, pp.55–98, figs. 2–7, 8–11, 13–18 (twelve plates and three associated drawings); Fernando Mazzocca, ‘Palazzo di Corte (o Arci­ducale), poi Palazzo Reale’ in Milano Neoclassica (Milan 2001), pp.131–152 (pls. iv, vi, ix, xvi); Il trionfo dell’ornato: Giocondo Albertolli (1742–1839), catalogue of an exhibition, Pinacoteca Cantonale Giovanni Züst, Rancate (Cinisello Balsamo 2005), pp.223–233, Tav. 1–11 (reproducing drawings associated with pls. ii, v, vii, ix, x, xii, xiv, xvi, xvii).

6. Ornamenti diversi (1782), pls. xi–xiii. Enrico Colle, ‘Villa Arciducale, poi Villa Reale, Monza’ in Milano Neoclassica (Milan 2001), pp.153–174 (pls. xi–xiii).

7. Ornamenti diversi (1782), pl. xviii. Enrico Colle, ‘Palazzo Casnedi’ in Milano Neoclassica (Milan 2001), pp.241–250 (pl. xviii and associated drawing).

8. Alcune decorazioni di nobili sale (1787), pls. i–vi. Colle, ‘Villa Arciducale’, op. cit., pp.160, 162–163, 169 (pls. i–iii, v); Enrico Colle, ‘Le arti decorative’ in Milano Neoclassica (Milan 2001), p.546 (pl. vi; compare p.574 for a stool made after the design); Giuseppe Beretti, ‘Giocondo Albertolli: uno sgabello a foggia di tripode per la villa di Monza’ in Rassegna di studi e di notizie 19 (1995), pp.45–54 (reproducing pl. vi in two states, the earlier before letters, and with manuscript inscription ‘Stampato in April 1784’). Il trionfo dell’ornato, op. cit., pp.201–202, no. 10.2.

9. Alcune decorazioni di nobili sale (1787), pls. vii–x. Mazzocca, op. cit., 2001, pp.138–139 (pls. vii, ix–x); Colle, ‘Le arti decorative’, op. cit., p.561 (pl. viii); Il trionfo dell’ ornato, op. cit., pp.203–204, no. 10.4.

10. Alcune decorazioni di nobili sale (1787), pls. xiii–xvii. Fernando Mazzocca, ‘Palazzo Belgiojoso d’Este, poi Palazzo Brivio Sforza’ in Milano Neoclassica (Milan 2001), pp.219–240 (pls. xiii, xvi).

11. Alcune decorazioni di nobili sale (1787), pl. xviii. Enrico Colle, ‘Le arti decorative’, op. cit., p.546 (pl. xviii; compare p.567 for the chair made after the design); Il trionfo dell’ornato, op. cit., pp.202–203, no. 10.3.

12. Alcune decorazioni di nobili sale (1787), pl. xi: ‘Capitello corintio di colonna a foglia di ulivo con sua pianta, disegnato sulle forme e misure de’più belli antichi di Rome’. Pl. xii: ‘Capitello corintio di pilastro a foglia di acanto’.

13. Compare Beretti, op. cit., 1997, pp.55, 68; and Enrico Colle, Giocondo Albertolli: i repertori d’ornato (Cinisello Balsamo 2002), pp.47, 49.

14. Simone Soldini, ‘I pilastri del portale mediano della cattedrale di Lugano: un esempio di rinnova­mento nella scultura decorativa lombarda del primo Cinquecento’ in Florilegium: scritti di storia dell’arte in onore di Carlo Bertelli (Milan 1995), pp.130–133.

15. Rudolf Wittkower, ‘Eagle and Serpent. A Study in the migration of symbols’ in Journal of the Warburg Institute 2 (1939), p.325 (pl. xv reproduced as fig. 53e).

16. Leopoldo Cicognara, Catalogo ragionato dei libri d’arte e d’antichità posseduti dal Conte Cicognara (Pisa 1821), no. 393: ‘carta meno candida, e più piccola’; Jacques-Charles Brunet, Manuel du librairie et de l’amateur de livres (Paris 1860), i, col.136: ‘Le premier tirage des Ornamenti diversi a été fait sur un papier moins blanc et plus petit que celui des autres vol., et cela peut servir à le faire reconnaître.’

17. Letter of 7 August 1787 to the dedicatee, Wilczek, cited by Beretti, op. cit., p.52.

18. Katalog der Ornamentstichsammlung der Staatlichen Kunstbibliothek, Berlin (Berlin & Leipzig 1939), no. 595 (copy of Alcune decorazioni di nobili sale comprising twenty-two plates only, bound with Ornamenti diversi).

19. This setting is reproduced by Colle, op. cit., pp.83–84.

20. The copy in National Art Library at the Victoria & Albert Museum (shelfmark 67. H. 40) is printed on wove paper, letterpress titles replace the original engraved titles to Ornamenti diversi and Alcune decorazioni di nobili sale, the dedications to those works are absent, and pls. vii, ix, xvi–xviii are printed in sepia. A copy of Vallardi’s edition of the Ornamenti diversi bound alone is in the Avery Library of Columbia University (shelfmark AA 2840 Al1).

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