Giovanni Battista de ROSSIMusaici cristiani e saggi dei pavimenti delle chiese di Roma anteriori al Secolo XV. Tavole cromo-litografiche con cenni storici e critiche del commendatori Gio. Battista de Rossi. Con traduzione francese.
Roma, Libreria Spithöver di Guglielmo Haass, (1872)-1899.
Elephant folio, contemporary full vellum gilt, spine gilt with raised bands and red lettering piece, top edge gilt. Half-title, title, (298)pp. Italian and French text. A few plans and illustrations in text, 53 splendid plates lithographed in colour and gold, numbered I-LIII. Complete.
First Edition of one of the finest and most important works on the subject. It was published in 27 parts between 1872 and 1896, and completed after the author’s death by Henry Stevenson and Giuseppe Gatti.
The italian scholar Giovanni Battista de Rossi (1822-1894) is regarded as the founder of Christian archaeology. Born in Rome, he attended the Collegio Romano and La Sapienza, earning a doctorate. After finishing his studies he was appointed scriptor at the Vatican Library, where he catalogued manuscripts. In addition to his expertise in archaeology, de Rossi was skilled in epigraphy and was an authority on the topography of ancient and medieval Rome. His studies of the apse mosaics in Roman churches continued those of the seventeenth-century scholars Jean l’Heureux and Giovanni Giustino Ciampi. He travelled widely, and was acquainted with the foremost European scholars of his day.
Toning to six plates, foxing to plate 33, occasional very faint marginal spotting to a few plates, a very good copy.