Historical Library

Prints collection

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The particular collection of prints includes (to 2021), 161 engravings (burin, etching, aquatint), lithographs, typographic prints, ink and watercolor drawings, all unified by the subject, always connected with the original purposes of the library: gather as much information as possible about ancient and modern Piedmont and the ancient Sardinian states. The collection is heterogeneous in content, because it is made of successive contributions and not the result of a planned collection. It collects materials variously received, in particular in the initial years of the institution, and has been the subject of a rather summary cataloguing, which favored, as in general use until not many years ago, especially the subject with respect to the complexity of the graphic work. Today, in the cataloguing treatment, one looks with greater interest also to other aspects, from the techniques to the specific history of the work and its authors, to the character of the representation, and also for this reason the new listing made on the occasion of the inclusion in the catalog site, has been standardized with respect to the previous cataloging and enriched with information on the technique and origin of the works. Many tables derive from dismembered volumes, as is customary in the antique market, and it seemed correct to trace them with a note to the volumes of origin, if identified.

The randomness of the formation of the collection does not prevent us from recognizing particular and coherent nuclei and series: the tables of the fort of Demonte, the lithograph portraits of the characters of the 1800s more or less linked to the events of the Savoy, the lithographs of the Baron de Mazlen on the Roman monuments in Savoy and Piedmont, the numerous tables from the Corography of Italy of the first half of the nineteenth century, the tables of the Views of the castle of Enrico Gonin, etc. The seventeenth-century engraving is represented by some significant examples: the Germanic view with the representation of the siege of Casale Monferrato in 1630, The tables of the Généalogie de la Royale Maison de Savoie by Tommaso Borgonio engraved by Fayenau in Turin in 1680, the views of Turin (1640) and Valencia (Paris 1692), two engravings of the works of Guarino Guarini from the Dissegni di Architettura Civile (1686).
More numerous are the eighteenth-century specimens, among which we point out the view of the city of Novara from the volume of Thomas Salmon (1751), the views of Casale and Turin engraved by Basire for the Rapin's History of England continued by Tindal, the panel dedicated to Revello of the 1726 re-edition of the Theatrum [...] Sabaudiae, the views of Tortona of 1707 and 1724, that of Turin taken from Lalande's Voyage of 1769, an engraving of the series dedicated by Sclopis del Borgo to the city of Turin (1775) engravings by Mario Quarini from drawings by Valeriano Dellala of Beinasco of the funeral apparatus of Carlo Emanuele III (1773), and others. The nineteenth century is certainly the protagonist of the whole collection, both in the number and variety of subjects, first of all for iconographic reasons, but also for the wide possibilities allowed by the new graphic techniques, in particular the lithography, and it remains only to refer to the attached list to verify their attendance. The Twentieth century, however, is represented only sporadically, as well as with artworks, such as the Turin views of Adalberto and Romano Campagnoli in 1960.

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