Venice: Ferd. Ongania, 1892. First printing. Hardcover. "Venice is beyond the fancy of the wildest dreamer" states Dickens, echoing the love affair of many writers, artists and travelers across the centuries. The magnificent heliogravure plates in this homage to Venice features atmospheric images of the canals and calli (typical Venice small streets and alleys). Each image measures 9 x 13" and are rightly praised as "a joy to behold" (Parr & Badger I:19). The work was compiled by Ferdinando Ongania, who selected the unnamed photographers for the work. The stunning photographs surely deserved to have their creators named, but alas, they are not.
The images evoke an idyllic 19th century world of gondolas on glittering canals, exquisite palaces and sunlit campos. They include Rio de Palazzo or de Canonica with the Ponte dei Sospiri, the Grand Canal, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Mark, Piazza San Marco, Palazzo Ducal, Rios di San Apolan and San Pietro di Castello, the Giudecca Canal, etc...
Elephant folio, , pictorial title page,10pp text & 100 heliogravure plates. Introduction by the art critic Pompeo Molmenti (1852-1928). Half red morocco publishers binding, 6 raised bands with gilt title, red cloth boards. Marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Some light foxing at edges of the plates and rubbing on the edges of the boards and extremities. Small presentation inscription on the page between the ffep & title, "To F. & A.P. with sincerest good wishes from AR. January 11,1894". Text in Italian. Watson, Images of Italy 44-45. Overall in very good condition. Item #26441