Lecture by John Moore: "Giuseppe Vasi's Panorama of Rome and Its Related Guidebooks: Printmaking, Book Publishing, and Diplomacy in Eighteenth-Century Europe."
- Thursday, November 10, 2016
- Weinstein Auditorium | Wright Hall | Smith College, 5 PM
Giuseppe Vasi's etched Prospetto dell'alma città di Roma constitutes a striking and ambitious portrait of the Eternal City. A native of Corleone, Vasi enjoyed certain privileges as a Neapolitan subject living and working in Rome and gratefully dedicated his panorama to Charles III, king of Spain, who from 1734 to 1759 had reigned as Carlo di Borbone, king of the Two Sicilies. The print was first published in December 1765, although trial proofs had been pulled earlier that same year and sent to Spain for royal approval. The panorama was accompanied by the Indice del Prospetto di Roma, which could (and did) serve as an independent guidebook. One turn of phrase in the guidebook’s second edition, also published in 1765, caused Vasi to be called before the papal authorities. Extensive correspondence and other archival documentation detail the nature of the dispute, explain how it was resolved, and throw light on the relationship of prints and books to diplomatic protocol and to the insufficiently studied topic of book dedications in eighteenth-century Europe.
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