Posted by John Bidwell
Thursday, December 04, 2008 5:52:00 PM
Binding and title page.
+ Zoom title page Giacomo Torelli (1608–1678). Scene e machine preparate alle Nozze di Teti, Balletto Reale [Paris: s.n., 1654]. Bound with: Giulio Strozzi (1583–1652). Feste theatrali per la finta pazza [Paris: s.n., 1645]. PML 195035. Purchased on the Gordon N. Ray Fund, 2008.
La finta pazza, the first Italian opera performed in France, was a brilliant success for the Italian scene designer Giacomo Torelli, who followed up with a prequel, the ballet Nozze di Teti, starring Louis XIV in the part of Apollo. For these two commemorative publications Torelli commissioned Nicolas Cochin and Israël Silvestre to engrave large double folding plates after his designs for sets that had astounded audiences with tricks of perspective and ingenious mechanical devices. This copy is in an elaborate armorial binding indicating that it once belonged to Henri-Jules de Bourbon-Condé, son of the Grand Condé and proprietor of a magnificent library at Chantilly.