Monday, January 23, 2006

Papillonium Rariorum Collectio

Rome's Biblioteca Casanatense [updated link 2010] was founded in 1700 by Dominican priests in accordance with a bequest of 25,000 books that had belonged to Cardinal Casanate. The state confiscated the library in the late 1800s.

Among what appears to be a formidable online presence I found 6 volumes of butterfly illustrations on the first fishing expedition. Papillonium Rariorum Collectio by Giuseppe Ferrarini is from the 18th century but there doesn't seem to be any other information about the collection or its author online.

Volumes: I, II, III, IV, V, VI - thumbnail pages of about 275 images in total. Unfortunately (on the one hand) they load in a zooming flash interface so I could only grab screenshots. They may well be embellished beyond reality but they are nonetheless exquisite.

UPDATE: It appears that this collection has been taken offline (or I can't find it in Nov. 2010 -- here's the image collection link)


Steven Gilborn said...

I'm visiting my daughter in Washington D. C., and I was struck by two framed prints she had bought at a yard sale and nearly discarded. I found Ferrarini's name in the lower corner of one and Googled it. The two prints appear to be reproductions of plates from the Collectio. --SG

pk said...

I think I'm a little jealous of your daughter Steven. I was blown away by the Ferrarini illustrations and could well imagine you being 'struck' by them. Thanks.

leslie said...

Yours was the only link I found to identify the artist for my butterfly print. I have a framed print of the butterflies, I think it was sold by The Bombay Company, Fort Worth. So thank you as I at least have artists name right now.

peacay said...

Tragically, it seems this collection is now not available online, as best I can tell. I only wish I had more thoroughly sampled from it back in '06.

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