NGA Acquires 2-Volume Illustrated Book by Giorgio Fossati

Posted in museums by Editor on October 29, 2022

From the NGA press release (14 October 2022) . . .

Giorgio Fossati, Raccolta di Varie Favole delineate ed incise in rame, 1744, six volumes in two, with three etched headpieces and 216 etchings printed in colors, bound in full contemporary Venetian vellum, each book 30 × 21 cm (National Gallery of Art, Washington, 2021.29.1).

Giorgio Fossati (1705–1785), born in Switzerland but active in Italy, was an architect, writer, stage designer, draftsman, and printmaker. The National Gallery of Art has acquired Raccolta di Varie Favole delineate ed incise in rame (1744), a book that was issued in six parts and bound in two volumes featuring letterpress text and 216 full-page illustrations. The first major work by Fossati to enter the National Gallery’s collection, these volumes feature their original 18th-century Venetian vellum binding boards and illustrations inked and printed in a different color, including hues of red, blue, and green.

Fossati’s etchings depicting the fables of Aesop and Jean de La Fontaine targeted an international audience with text written in Italian as well as French—the cosmopolitan language of the 18th century. Some of Fossati’s images reference earlier printed works, including Albrecht Dürer’s woodcut The Rhinoceros (1515).

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