Raccolta di disegni incisi da Girolamo Mantelli di Canobio sugli originali esistenti nella Bibliotheca Ambrosiana di mano di Leonardo Da Vinci e de suoi scolari Lombardi dedicata a sua eccellenza Giberto Borromeo Arese Conte e Signore di Magno imperiale Corte regale e Vicario imperiale perpetuo Conte d'Arona e Signore della sua rocca ec. ec. Grande di Spagna di prima classe ec.
Item ID 72777
Milano, [Federico Agnelli], 1785. Folio (43.2 x 30.7 cm). Engraved title page; 27 engraved plates, printed in red and black. The engraved, allegorical title page is signed and dated Hier. Mantelli inuen sculpt. 1785 . Contemporary mottled half calf over mottled boards. Spine with gilt ornamental bands and vignettes, and gilt-ornamented morocco label with gilt title. Edges speckled red. The title translates as: ‘Collection of drawings engraved by Girolamo Mantelli di Canobio based on the existing originals in the Ambrosiana Library by the hand of Leonardo Da Vinci and his Lombard scholars dedicated to his excellence Giberto Borromeo Arese’ (1751-1837). The library – or, rather, Pinacoteca – Ambrosiana in Milan also holds Da Vinci’s 12 volumes Codex atlanticus . Little is known about the engraver, Girolamo (or Hierolamo – as in his signature of the title page) Mantelli. Canobio probably refers to Canobbio, a small town on the shore of Lago Maggiore in northern Italy. Bénézit gives Carobbio, another small town in northern Italy. Only one auction record since WWII. OCLC reports just five copies worldwide (Rome – perhaps incomplete, stating 27 plates in all; Florence – incomplete copy; Paris; Washington, DC; and Stanford, CA – perhaps incomplete, stating 27 plates in all). Brunet records just 25 plates. Another copy is in the library of The Royal Academy, in London. Our copy agrees with the description of the latter, that is: The plates reproduce drawings attributed to Leonardo da Vinci (1-16), Francesco Melzi (17), Bernardino Lovino (or Luini - sometimes thought to be the painter of Salvator Mundi , an oil painting often ascribed to Da Vinci) (18-24), and Cesare da Sesto (25-27). Most show heads; some, figures. Fifteen are printed in black, nine in red, and three (7, 14, 18) in black and red. Among the ‘heads’ are several caricatures, reminiscent of the work of Hieronymus Bosch, but known to be one of Da Vinci's favourite subjects. The Royal Academy has a sales leaflet, or introduction page (this is unclear as there are no other records for this leaf) giving the contents, with a handwritten addition that the work was to be sold in three different formats, including a cheaper one with the prints on versos and rectos. No copies of such an edition are known. One or two small, professional paper repairs, otherwise an unmarked copy. Bénézit 5, p. 758; Brunet, Supplément A-M , pp. 934-935. One of only three complete copies known