Descrizione delle Feste celebrate in Parma l’anno MDCCLXIX

Per le auguste nozze di sua altezza reale l’infante Don Ferdinando colla reale arciduchessa Maria Amalia. In Parma, nella Stamperia Reale, [1769]

By Palazzo della Pilotta

Descrizione delle Feste celebrate in Parma l’anno MDCCLXIX. Per le auguste nozze di sua altezza reale l’infante Don Ferdinando colla reale arciduchessa Maria Amalia (1769) by Giambattista BodoniPalazzo della Pilotta

A grandiose publication created at the behest of the Parma Ducal Court to celebrate the marriage of Don Ferdinando of Bourbon and Maria Amalia of Austria which contains a description of the principal spectacles organised for the regal marriage.

This is considered to be “the most beautiful Italian book of Festivities, possibly one of the century’s most splendid books” and saw the proficuous collaboration between Bodoni and the Court architect Alexandre Ennemond Petitot.

Benigno Bossi was in charge of the extremely complicated undertaking co-ordinating the many artists involved and Petitot was responsible for the architectural iconography and organisation of the volume, as well as all the drawings for the illustrations.

Bodoni was the artist who was able to knowledgeably compose the text in Italian and French over two symmetrical columns, experimenting for the first time the realisation of simultaneous emissions on different types of paper.

Allegoria matrimoniale di don Ferdinando e Maria Amalia (1727/1775) by Andrea Rossi da Pietro Melchiorre FerrariPalazzo della Pilotta

Even though the presumable placing as frontispiece or illustration in some book of literary commendation has yet to be proven, the involvement of Ferrari has been appreciated in Petitot’s articulated neoclassical decorative modules for this elegant illustrative table.

The refined portraits reflecting equally a particular rococo and French taste for the naturalistic inserts should be noted.

Cavaliere della quadriglia azzurra by Ennemond-Alexandre PetitotPalazzo della Pilotta

Evidently the accurate drawing belonged to the first phase of the project for a series of costumes for the inventive medieval tournament.

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