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Drawings of the collection of the Marquès del Carpio in Rome

Reference code
Drawings of the collection of the Marquès del Carpio in Rome
Level of description
Extent and format
Paper; ff. ii + 107.
Red morocco binding, gilt-tooled, with gilt edges. Armorial bookstamp of the Marquès del Carpio, fol. 2; his coroneted cyphers, fols. 104, 106. On the flyleaf, fol. i, 'cajon 19' (bookcase 19); laid-down, a cutting from an English dealer's catalogue, priced at £7. 17s. 6d. On fol. ii, '105 Disegni'. Catalogue reference '101/14/14/0', fol. iii.
Scope and content
Drawings of the collection of statues, busts, bas reliefs, vases, fountains, etc., formed in Rome by Gaspar de Haro y Guzmán, Marqués del Carpio, while ambassador of Charles II of Spain to Pope Innocent XI, 1676-82.

Titlepage, fol. 1, pen and wash, with a large figure derived from the description in Vitruvius (cf. De Architectura, book 2), and others, of the proposal to carve the end of Mount Athos as a colossal figure of Alexander the Great (see E. H. Frankfort, 'The 'Alexander Mountain', in N. Hadjinicolaou (ed.), Alexander the Great in European Art (Institute for Mediterranean Studies, Thessaloniki, 1997); the figure is interpreted by G. Fusconi (see below) as an allegory of Rome. Above the figure are the arms of the Marqués del Carpio, and below in a cartouche the title, 'DISEGNI D'Idoli, Statue, Filosofi, Busti, Vrne piccole, Bassi Rilieui, Medaglie, Inscrittioni, Vasi di Marmi e Porfidi, Fontane di Marmi, Alabastri e Metalli Antichi e moderni; Quali compre In ROMA.. DON GASPARO D'HARO EGUZMAN, Marchese Del Carpio e Helicce..'.

Preface, Italian, fols. 2r, v, describing the formation of the collection, 1676-82, and the chief items (some acquired from the collection of the recently deceased Cardinal Camillo de Massimi), including nine Egyptian figures ('ydoli') of paragon (black marble) found at Hadrian's Villa, Tivoli, thirteen philosophers (busts), a statue of Ganymede, an antique calendar, the 'Urna dell'Vssignuolo', and several fountains including the last work of Bernini (described in detail), said to surpass that in the Piazza Navona. The preface also states that Carpio's project to have his collection drawn and published was interrupted by his promotion to Viceroy of the Kingdom of Naples, 1682, and departure from Rome.

The drawings are mostly highly finished pencil; fols. 104-7 colour wash. Captions, Spanish, describe materials, occasionally artists, and in some cases provenance (Cardinal de Massimi, Cardinal Nini). They include most but not all of the items mentioned in the preface, e.g. the nine Egyptian figures of paragon, fols. 86-94, Ganymede, fol. 96, the antique calendar, fol. 98, the urn of the nightingale, fol. 100, and fountains, fols. 104-7; the Bernini fountain is not included (several stubs visible, e.g. before fol. 107).

Several items from the Carpio collection were subsequently acquired for collections in Great Britain (Towneley, Blundell of Ince, Worsley and other collections, cf. fol. i).

The title page of this volume is reproduced in Giulia Fusconi, 'Disegni decorativi di Johann Paul Schor', Bollettino d'Arte, 70 (1985), 159-60, fig. 31; Fusconi suggests (p. 172, n. 83) an attribution to Phillip Schor, son of J. P. Schor, who was in the entourage of the Marchese del Carpio in Naples. Rosa López Torrijos, 'Coleccionismo en la época de Velàzquez', Velàzquez y el arte de su Tiempo (Madrid, 1991), 27-36, gives details of Carpio's career and refers to manuscripts of his secretary Juan Vélez de Léon, which include an account of the Carpio collection very similar to this preface. Beatrice Cacciotti, 'La Collezione del VII Marchese del Carpio tra Roma e Madrid', Bolletino d'Arte, nos. 86-7 (1994), 133-96, reproduces many drawings of sculpture from this volume and gives present locations in Spain of the originals (pp. 195-6).

Carpio owned forty-three albums of drawings of which only a few survive (references in Cacciotti, ibid., 136-7, notes 39-40; see note 41 for this item). (Inf. on bibliography from John A. Goodall, FSA, and Enriqueta Harris Frankfort).
Méndez de Haro, Gaspar (1629-1687), 7th Marquess of Carpio, diplomat and art collector
Previous reference number(s)
Italian; Spanish