Falda, Giovan Battista (1643-1678).
I Giardini di Roma. Con le loro Piante Alzate e Vedute in Prospettiva.... Roma, Giovanni Giacomo De Rossi, [ca. 1680].
Oblong folio (342x471 mm).  engraved plates, including the title-page and dedication to Pope Innocent XI, engraved by Arnold Van Westerhout after Giovanni Battista Manelli, and nineteen landscape views by G. B. Falda and Simon Felice. Late nineteenth-century half-vellum, marbled covers. Marbled edges. A very good copy, a few marginal stains.
First edition – offered here in its first issue with the plates unnumbered – of the most beautiful garden book produced in the Roman Baroque. Falda's work illustrates the layout and embellishment of nine of the finest gardens of Rome dating from the mid-sixteenth to the mid-seventeenth century. The publication includes bird's-eye views and plans of the Vatican Gardens, those on Quirinal Hill, and, among others, the Villas Mattei, Pamphili, Borghese, Ludovisi, and Montalto. The gardens were designed by Alessandro Algardi, Carlo Maderno, Ottavio Mascarini, Annibali Lippi, Cavalier Rainaldi, Domenico Fontana, Flaminio Pontico, and Giacomo Del Duca. The book is of particular importance as it shows the gardens before they were destroyed or underwent extensive alterations.
As a boy, Falda was sent to Rome to work in the studio of Gian Lorenzo Bernini. His skills attracted the attention of the publisher Giovanni Giacomo De Rossi, for whom Falda engraved the series Le fontane di Roma ('Fountains of Rome'), Palazzi di Roma ('Palaces of Rome'), and the present Giardini. His work became very popular among participants of the Grand Tour and tourists in the second half the seventeenth century and sold very well.
Berlin Katalog 3492; Kissner 133; Libreria Vinciana 4440; Rossetti 4831; G. B. Falda, Li giardini di Roma. Faksimile-Neudruck der Ausgabe Rom 1683, Nordlingen 1994; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 217.