This engraving of Michelangelo’s design for the south elevation of St Peter’s by Giovanni Ambrogio Brambilla (fl.1575–99) forms part of the Cassiano dal Pozzo collection.
The print is an exact copy of an earlier work by Etienne Dupérac (c.1535–1604). Dupérac worked in Rome from around 1559 until 1578 or 1582. He published three prints showing Michelangelo’s designs for St Peter’s, of which only two are in the dal Pozzo collection. All three plates were acquired by Antonio Lafreri before 1573 (Ehrle 1908, p. 56, lines 273–6). At Lafreri’s death in 1577, his plates were divided between his two heirs, Claudio and Francesco Duchetti (Francesco’s son Stefano took effective charge of his share). Two of Dupérac’s plates went to Claudio, and one – of the side elevation – to Francesco (Pagani 2008, p. 15, no. 9). As was often his practice, Claudio commissioned Ambrogio Brambilla to make a replica of the missing plate (1682), so that he could off er his clients a complete set (Bury 2001, p. 225). Cassiano acquired that set.
Brambilla was a Milanese painter and engraver who by early 1575 was resident in Rome. Claudio Duchetti employed Brambilla to engrave prints, mainly, it seems, of architecture.
This information has been transcribed from The Print Collection of Cassiano dal Pozzo: Architecture, Topography and Military Maps by Mark McDonald, Part C.II of The Paper Museum of Cassiano dal Pozzo: A Catalogue Raisonné (3 vols, Royal Collection Trust 2017), Part 2, pp. 19–78.