LAOCOON ENGRAVED

Castone della Torre di.  Discorsi accademici del conte … segretario perpetuo della R. Accademia delle Belle Arti. 

Parma, [Bodoni], 1772.

8vo, pp. viii, 80; with 4 fine engraved plates (including the engraved title-page) by Bossi, and several finely-engraved vignettes; text within printed borders; a little faint age-toning, but a fine copy in contemporary mottled sheep, gilt triple fillet to sides, flat spine gilt with fleurons, red morocco lettering-piece; small chip to foot of spine, a couple of small abrasions to the sides, one touching the gilt fillets.

£700

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First and only edition of an exquisite little product of the Bodoni house: Count Rezzonico’s reflections on the fine arts, including a dissertation on the techniques of woodcut and engraving.  The Neo-Classical aesthetics that inform this work are reflected in the illustrations, masterfully executed by the painter, engraver and stucco artist Benigno Bossi.  Perhaps the most remarkable is the depiction of the marble Laocoon, which had been made by Lessing the symbol of the aesthetic autonomy of poetry and painting.

Brooks 25.

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