In this magnificently illustrated manuscript of unusual content, the Italian architect and town planner Giuseppe Valadier (1762-1839) describes the casting of the Campanone, the largest bell in St. Peter's Basilica, in a text featuring 14 watercolored pen and ink drawings. The Vatican had commissioned the bell from the foundry of his father, Luigi Valadier, who passed away in 1785, before the work on the bell was completed. The son Giuseppe completed the commission and in 1786 prepared a manuscript about this work, pairing each drawing with a written explanation in the form of a legend. First Valadier shows the foundry building (2v-7r); then, in an almost photographic wealth of detail and in vivid colors, he shows the process of producing the bell including the technique of the false bell and the casting in bronze (8v-21r). Finally the finished bell (22v-23r) is transported through the streets of Rome on a wooden sled (24v-25r) and is blessed by Pope Pius VI (26v-27r). – The manuscript was purchased in Bern in 1948.
Online Since: 10/08/2015