Florence: Amadore Massi and Lorenzo Landi, 1637. Two parts in one volume, 4to (236 x 172 mm). Etched title and seven double-page plates by Stefano della Bella after the set designs of Alfonso Parigi. 19th-century half roan, decorated paper boards. Some minor spotting, generally a fine copy. Provenance: purchased from George Staack, 1962. From the Collection of Arthur & Charlotte Vershbow. Item #401735
FIRST EDITION of the libretto for the masque celebrating the wedding of Vulcan to Venus. This series of etchings by Stefano della Bella was his first major undertaking for the Medici court, after he succeeded Jacques Callot. It is also the only surviving record of Alfonso Parigi’s remarkable designs for the staging of Coppola’s opera with choreography by Agniolo Ricci.
Coppola, Bishop of Muro, was commissioned to commemorate the marriage of Grand Duke Ferdinando II de' Medici (1610-1670) to Princess Vittoria della Rovere of Urbino (1622-1694) on 8 July 1637. It was the last opera to be held in the Medici court theatres. According to Rondinelli's contemporary description (Relazione delle nozze degli dei), the libretto was set to music by the five principal composers of Florence, who employed counterpoint and entrancing arias, fitted to the beauty of the story. The composers are unnamed, but evidently included Marco da Gagliano and Francesca Caccini (and, according to The New Grove, Jacopo Peri). The music was organized by the poet and composer Ferdinando Saracinelli, a collaborator with Domenico Mazzocchi, who may also have contributed to the music. Berlin Kat. 4116; Brunet II:262; De Vesme 918-925; Lipperheide 2146; Nagler, Theater Festivals of the Medici, pp. 162-74; Ruggieri 795.