Giovanni Volpato (1735-1803)
Series of four engravings representing the decorations of the pillars of Raphael's Lodges in the Vatican.
Engraving and gouache.
Signed "Joannes Volpato sculp. Roma 1775".
The great master of etching, Giovanni Volpato, was not the first artist to try his hand at copying the prestigious motifs that adorn the pilasters of the Vatican loggias, completed in 1519 and designed and realised by Raphael. But he is undoubtedly one of the most meticulous. Born in Bassano, he ran a publishing company that enjoyed the privilege of Pope Clement XIII and was assisted by Francesco Pannini in making the paper drawings of the ornaments that he then engraved in copper before enhancing them with gouache and watercolor. He founded a school of engraving in Rome and taught his art to two of the greatest engravers of their time: Piranesi and Campanella.
The end of the 18th century was marked by the craze caused by the archaeological discoveries made in Italy and Volpato took advantage of it: his clientele also bought antiquities from him.
The precision of his reproductions was known throughout Europe, so much so that sovereigns and wealthy aristocrats who dreamed of Rome would buy his engravings to keep in memory the splendor of their discoveries during their Grand Tour.
More than a simple survey, our series of engravings meticulously reproduces every detail, every motif that adorns the pillars of the Vatican Lodges and the highlights of the painting allow us to do justice to the beauty of these pictorial achievements.