Victoria, Vicente (1658-1712).
Osseruazioni sopra il libro della Felsina pittrice per la difesa di Raffaello da Urbino, dei Caracci, e della loro scuola. Publicate, e diuise in sette lettere.... Rome, Gaetano Zenobi, 1703.
8° (198x129 mm). Printed on blue paper. 114,  pages. Complete with the last blank leaf. Large engraved vignette with the coat of arms of Pope Clement XI on the title-page, rendered by Victoria. Full-page engraving showing a hand sharpening a quill above a copy of Malvasia's Felsina pittrice, with the inscription in a cartouche 'VT SCRIBAT NON FERIAT', likewise after Victoria. Fine woodcut head- and tailpieces; numerous woodcut decorated initials. Contemporary vellum, over pasteboards. Smooth spine, title in gold on painted lettering-piece. Covers restored. A fine copy, a few minor stains to the title-page. Light foxing in places, some fingermarks.
Provenance: armorial ex-libris on the title-page, including six bees; below the inked letters 'B. D. M.' both referring to the Abbot Baldassare
Martini, or De Martinis (1723-1785).
A handsome copy – printed on blue paper – of this work by the Spanish painter, printmaker, and canon Vicente Victoria y Gastaldo. Born in Valencia, Victoria was primarily active in Rome, and known under the Italianised name of Vittorio Vincente. A protégé of the Albani family, he was appointed, in 1703, as antiquarian to Pope Clement XI, whose coat of arms is engraved on the title-page of this edition, likewise printed in 1703. Victoria amassed a notable library and a large collection of classical antiquities.
He published the Osservazioni in defence of Raphael and Annibale Carracci, whose styles had been criticised as 'dry and lifeless' by Count Carlo Cesare Malvasia (1616-1693) in his Felsina Pittrice of 1678, the biographical work on Bolognese painters, and one of the most relevant sources for the history of Italian painting. Victoria had perceived in Malvasia's treatise an anti-Roman bias: as is well known, in a few copies of the Felsina Pittrice Malvasia had referenced Raphael – in a passage related to the Vatican Stanze – as the boccalaio di Urbino, i.e., the 'potter from Urbino', an expression which was later changed to ‘the great Raphael' in the definitive issue.
The 1703 publication is famous for including a full-page engraving, executed after a drawing of Victoria himself, depicting a hand sharpening a quill close to a copy of Malvasia's treatise, and surmounted by the caption VT SCRIBAT NON FERIAT', i.e., 'May it write, not strike'.
This copy of Victoria's Osservazioni is printed on blue paper, indicating that this precious volume was gifted by its author to an as yet unidentified but evidently prominent figure.
E. Páez, Repertorio de Grabados Españoles, Madrid 1981; C. Dempsey, “Malvasia and the Problem of the Early Raphael and Bologna”, Studies in the History of Art, 17 (1986), pp. 57-70; G. Perini,“Carlo Cesare Malvasia's Florentine Letters: Insight into Conflicting Trends in Seventeenth-Century Italian Art Historiography”, , 70 (1988), pp. 273-299; C. Lyons, “Antiquities and Art Theoryin the Collections of Vicente Victoria”, J. Fejer – T. Fischer-Hansen –A. Rathje (eds.), The Rediscovery of Antiquity: The Role of the Artist, Copenhagen 2003, pp. 481-507; A. Emiliani, “II Malvasia antiplatonicoe Raffaello, il “boccalajo” urbinate. L'amore della vita del giovane Correggio”, Correggio, Milano 2008, pp. 245-251.