The title-page to the first book of Vasi’s views of Rome bears a dedication to the King of the Two Sicilies, who would later become Charles III of Spain, and a vignette showing a personification of Rome that Vasi used again in his Itinerario istruttivo (1763) and in his Indice istorico (1765). The first in a series of ten volumes arranged by themes, it consists of twenty full-sized plates showing ‘Gates and walls’ with about four smaller images interspersed within the explanatory text written by the antiquary Giuseppe Bianchini (1704-1764). Vasi’s Roman vedute became hugely popular outside Italy in the second half of the eighteenth century.
In the inscription, Vasi describes himself as ‘painter, engraver, architect and Arcadian shepherd’, or member of the Accademia degli Arcadi. The academy was a literary and social club formed not only by authors and poets, but also by members of the professional classes, ecclesiastics and aristocrats interested in literature and modern science.
Each plate from Magnificenze's ten books is displayed on Imago Urbis: Giuseppe Vasi's Grand Tour of Rome, a geo-database supported by the University of Oregon and the Getty Research Institute: http://vasi.uoregon.edu/works_magnificenze.html