RAFFAELLO SANZIO d'URBINO, better known as "Rafael" (1483 - 1520). [Loggie di Rafaele Nel Vaticano]. Rome:  and 1777.
Parts I and III only, in one volume. Oblong folio (19 x 21 4/8 inches). Engraved title-page to part III (without the engraved title-page to part I and one page of text), 29 double-page engraved plates of the wall panels of the Loggia, including one panoramic folding plate showing the extent of the Loggia, most printed on two sheets joined (most plates remargined along one edge). Modern calf backed marbled paper boards.
Provenance: From the Collection of Prince and Princess Henry De la Tour d'Auvergne Lauraguais, their sale, Sotheby's London, 3rd May 2012, lot 446.
Having completed the magnificent Stanzia (four private rooms) for Pope Julius II at the Vatican, his successor Pope Leo X commissioned Rafael to decorate the Loggia: "For generations of artists, the Loggia was the supreme model of inspiration. It was an art school for all of Europe, and enjoyed immense success. In Saint Petersburg, at the end of the eighteenth century, Catherine of Russia had full-sized reproductions of them made and placed in the immense Hermitage museum… Some of the best artists of the time worked together on the Loggia, a little bit like the construction of the cathedrals, but all of it was done under the direction of Raphael. The biblical scenes are set inside a decorative border of stucco and frescoes inspired by Roman art, mainly by the Domus Aurea and the Colosseum, in a bustle of flowers, fruit, and birds in vibrant colors, against a bright blue sky" (Sandro Magister reviewing Dacos "The Loggia of Raphael: A Vatican Art Treasure"). BAL RIBA 2710; Berlin Katalog 4068.