“One of the most sumptuous books on the fine arts ever produced” (John Gere)
The Italian School of Design: being a series of fac-similes of original drawings, by the most eminent painters and sculptors of Italy; with biographical notices of the artists, and observations on their works
London, Printed for the Author, by J. McCreery, and published by Taylor and Hessey, -1823
A beautiful work reproducing in facsimile eighty-four drawings in the author’s own collection, all that appeared of an arduous attempt to provide “a chronological sequence of the designs of the most eminent artists of Italy”. The sheets represent the work of some two dozen artists ranging in date from the 14th to the 17th centuries, among whom Michelangelo and Raphael feature predominantly (nearly half of the plates reproduce their drawings). “The eighty-odd plates, some of which Ottley engraved himself… are tours de force of facsimile engraving; never, even with the most elaborate mechanical processes, have drawings been more faithfully reproduced… It is indeed one of the most sumptuous books on the fine arts ever produced” (J.A. Gere).