STAMPART, Frans van (1675-1750) and Anton Joseph von PRENNER (1683-1761). Prodromus, seu praeambulare lumen portentosae magnificentiae theatri.Vienna: Johann Peter van Ghelen, 1735.

First and only edition of this illustrated description of the Imperial Picture Gallery in Vienna; the William Beckford and Earl of Rosebery copy.The authors, court painters for the Hapsburgs, present engraved tableaux showing the arrangement of pictures and statues in the Imperial Picture Gallery in the early 18th century, with captions in Latin and German set in rhyming alexandrines. Although the reproduction of the individual works of art is small, their high level of detail allows for precise identification. Berlin Kat 3965; Brunet V, 508.

Folio (452 x 300mm). Fully engraved. Dedication with portrait of Emperor Charles VI, gallery floor plan with portraits of Stampart and Prenner, “Catalogus nominum pictorum in isto opere” leaf at end, and 32 plates with caption text in Latin and German (lacking both engraved titles and 12 pages of text called for in the Berlin Katalog; occasional light spotting and soiling). Contemporary red morocco gilt, all edges gilt, with gilt arms of Austria on covers (stains on front board, light wear along spine). Provenance:William Beckford (1760-1844; bookseller receipt dated 27 Feb. 1800 pasted on front flyleaf; his sale, 1884 part III, lot 2188) – Archibald Philip Primrose, Earl of Rosebery (1847-1929; bookplate).
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