Scene eseguite pel Melodramma serio L'ultimo giorno di Pompei [...]; Raccolta di Varie Decorazioni Sceniche inventate, e dipinte dal pittore Alessandro Sanquirico per l'I.R. Teatro della Scala in Milano, [Milan, c.1827]
FIRST EDITION, 72 leaves, large oblong folio (39.2 x 47cm), Whatman watermarks for 1824 & 1827, 2 calligraphic title-pages, 70 aquatints in contemporary hand-colour, (neo-classical frontispiece, 7 of Pacini's opera L'ultimo giorno di Pompei, and 62 of operas by Mozart, Rossini, Meyerbeer etc), all after Alessandro Sanquirico, original watermarked tissue guards, contemporary cross-grained red morocco gilt, Greek-key panels, thin serrated fillets, outer frame with neo-classical roundels, leafy margins & turn-ins, flat spine gilt in compartments, corners and spine worn at head and foot, a few light stains in the margins, legend to Mayr's "La Fedra" rather faint, small tear to margin of "Numa Pompilio" repaired on verso
Alessandro Sanquirico (1777-1849) was the chief designer and scene-painter at La Scala during this most important period in its history. His sets are notable for the introduction of exotic locations and architecture, and include spectacular scenes set in Egypt (Memphis, the Pyramids and Damietta), Babylon, Ancient Greece, Crete, Mecca, the Ottoman Empire (including Tarsus), and Persia. The operas illustrated include Mozart's La clemenza di Tito (1819), Rossini's La gazza ladra (the 1817 premiere), Ciro in Babilonia (1812) and Semiramide (1824), and Meyerbeer's Il crociato in Egitto (1826). This is the earliest set of Sanquirico's magnificent coloured lithographs that we have seen. The plates show not just set designs, but also the stage action for important productions up to and including the 1827 season, capped by seven for L'ultimo giorno di Pompei, depicting the eruption of Vesuvius. This early issue does not contain five scenes added later (one for Bellini's Norma in 1832) and three ballets. In other copies those plates are printed on paper dated 1830.
Condition is described in the main body of the cataloguing, where appropriate.
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