After a pair of engravings made by the Italian vedutisti, Giuseppe Vasi, these depictions of 18th century Rome were printed in the 1900’s in Italy. Each print is surrounded by a variegated slate matte board with a burgundy border. Giltwood frames with subtle quarter round and cavetto moldings enhance the monochromatic scenes.
One print (the print on the left in the main photo) was dedicated in 1771 to Agesilao Bonanno, an Italian aristocrat most known for his taxation of window and doors. The scene is most likely the view from the top of Aventine, the southernmost of Rome’s seven hills. Notable architecture includes the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, visible behind the Pyramid of Cestius, which during Vasi’s time was still part of the Aurelian wall, Porta San Paolo. In the foreground, the bustling harbor, Porto di Ripa Grande, can be seen on the Tiber River (labeled as Tevere Fiume).
The other print, which was presented to Abbondio Rezzonico, the nephew of Pope Clement XIII, was first drawn in 1765. In this engraving, Vasi portrays the Roman Forum, sometimes referred to as Campo Vaccino (“cattle field”). The Temple of Saturn can be seen in the foreground, at the base of Capitoline Hill, with the less intact Temple of Castor and Pollux behind it. To the left of theses ruins is the Arch of Constantine, with the Colosseum and several aqueducts in the background.
Giuseppe Vasi was born in Sicily in 1710. Vasi would eventually move to Rome, working at the Calcografia Camerale, before eventually opening his own workshop. In 1740, Vasi was stabbed over a disagreement with one of his pupils, the famed Giovanni Battista Piranesi. Vasi survived the attack, but his work was quickly overshadowed by Piranesi. It was not until the late 20th century that scholars began to recognize the works of Vasi as equal to his former student. Our prints of Vasi’s Roman veduta engravings would make fantastic additions to just about any room of the house.
CONDITION: Good condition with minor rubs and losses to frames. Light buildup to giltwood. The prints themselves are in strong condition. Please see photos for details.