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“Before the Eyes of the Whole World”

“Before the Eyes of the Whole World”

The City Writ Large, 1593–1676

(p.163) Chapter Five “Before the Eyes of the Whole World”
Rome Measured and Imagined
Jessica Maier
University of Chicago Press

Chapter five traces a splendid sequence of large-scale prints by Antonio Tempesta (1593), Matteo Greuter (1618), Giovanni Battista Falda (1676), and others who turned away from Roma Antica to focus on the most recent form of the city. Although these works were not sponsored by the papacy, they took on a newly ideological and propagandistic tone. Rome was being remade as a grand theater that proclaimed the Church’s triumph over grave challenges, and the maps addressed in this chapter perfectly expressed the militancy of the Baroque city. With the rise of the Grand Tour, their messages were exported far and wide. In Rome, their production was increasingly concentrated in the hands of highly professionalized printers like the De Rossi family. Owing in large part to the expertise of their makers, these works surpassed imagery of previous generations in sheer size, technical finesse, architectural detail, and overall magnificence. They can be divided into two main trends—the painterly and the architectural—but like earlier works they continued to merge qualitative and quantitative information. If these images failed to reinvent the wheel, they refined themes that were first manifested in the mid-1400s and brought them to a glorious pinnacle.

Keywords:   Baroque Rome, theatre, Antonio Tempesta, Matteo Greuter, Giovanni Battista Falda, De Rossi family, architectural, painterly

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