Michelangelo’s design for the south elevation of St Peter’s

Description

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.

Full title:
Michelangelo’s design for the south elevation of St Peter’s
Published:
after 1577
Created:
after 1577
Format:
Etching / Engraving
Creator:
Giovanni Ambrogio Brambilla, Étienne Dupérac
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library
Shelfmark:
54.i.7, f.6

Full catalogue details

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The collection of Cassiano dal Pozzo at the British Library

Article by:
Mark McDonald
Themes:
Antiquarianism, Transforming topography

Cassiano dal Pozzo's collection of prints and drawings is one of the most important collections of the early modern period. It was an attempt to embrace the entirety of human knowledge through visual media. Mark McDonald reviews some of the prints acquired by George III and now held at the British Library.

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