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Giacomo Torelli (1608–1678)
Scene e machine preparate alle Nozze di Teti, Balletto Reale. Paris: s.n., 1654.
Purchased on the Gordon N. Ray Fund, 2008
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La Finta Pazza, the first Italian opera performed in France (in 1645), was a brilliant success for the Italian stage designer and engineer Giacomo Torelli, who followed up with a prequel, the ballet Nozze di Teti, starring Louis XIV in the part of Apollo. For these two commemorative publications, Torelli commissioned the eminent engravers Nicolas Cochin and Israël Silvestre to engrave large double-folding plates after his designs for sets, which had astounded audiences with tricks of perspective and ingenious mechanical devices. This copy is in an elaborate armorial binding, indicating that it once belonged to Henri-Jules de Bourbon-Condé, son of Louis II of Bourbon, "Le Grand Condé," and proprietor of the magnificent library at Chantilly.
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