Scarce Dance of the Tarantula
Step By Hand-Colored Panorama Step
[PANORAMA]. DURA, Gaetano. Souvenir de la Tarantella Napolitaine dirigée par Louis Puccinelli Maitre de Danse dessinée par Gaetan Dura. Naples: Gatti et Dura, n.d. [c. 1834].
First edition. Oblong octavo (5 7/16 x 7 1/8 in; 138 x181 mm). Hand-colored frontispiece, engraved title, one plate of music notation, and seventeen hand-colored lithographed plates with captions, in accordion format unfolding to 142 1/2 inches.
Contemporary half calf over patterned paper boards. Gilt-rolled spine. Armorial bookplate of Mountgarret. An excellent copy of a scarce work.
ABPC records only one complete copy at auction since 1923; an incomplete copy with only ten plates was sold in 1955. OCLC/KVK note only three institutional copies, at Harvard, NYPL, and Austria State Library.
"Also due to the trend of the illustration of the Neapolitan folklore, but more didactic, it is the lithographic album titled Tarantella. Neapolitan Dance, drawn entirely by Dura [1805-1878], published in Naples in 1833, and lithographed by Gatti in 1834. Dura's [Souvenir de la Tarantella Napolitaine], a very important document for the reconstruction of the Neapolitan tarantella, presents nineteen plates, accompanied by captions that explain, step by step, all the different phases of the dance. The style of the illustrations is basic: two dancers, drawn not without a certain grace and accuracy, move isolated on a white background completely devoid of any decoration or pittoresco. In the mid-1830s Dura became ass'ciated with Gatti, founding a lithographic establishment that soon became one of the most important in Naples. The brand of 'Gatti and Dura' published prints, calendars, atlases, graphic novels and works of popular nature, such as almanacs and miscellanies" (Encyclopedia Treccani.it, L'Enciclopedia Italiana).
Cf. Colas 921.
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