Rome: Vitale Mascardi, 1657. Hardcover. Folio with engravings after the famous fresco cycle 'The Loves of the Gods' in the Farnese Gallery in Rome, by the Italian artist Annibale Caracci. The author, Bellori, was an Italian biographer of the artists of the 17th century, in the tradition of Giorgio Vasari, who went on to write a Lives of the Artists published in 1672, in which he extols the virtues of classical realism.
With 10 pages of text on the frescoes, followed by plates engraved by Carlo Cesi (Cesio), reproducing Caracci's ceiling frescos which were begun in 1597 by Annibale and his brother Agostino (from 1597 to 1600) Caracci; the cycle was completed in 1608.
The frescoes depict the loves of the gods; mythological scenes painted within a trompe l'oeil architectural framework. They were considered to be the epitome of fresco painting throughout the 17th and 18th centuries and set the standard for heroic figure design.
Folio, 10pp, 16 plates. Includes plates 14 to 30 (lacking plate 25). Original full brown leather; covers quite rubbed, spine rubbed and chipped. Some damp staining and soiling at margins of plates. Inside of front and rear boards used by an early owner to stencil(?) Gothic lettering, with the name "David Person" and "November xi, in the year 1880" Good + overall. Item #16041