The ‘Museo Cartaceo’ (‘Paper Museum’) is a collection of some 10,000 watercolours, drawings and prints, assembled during the seventeenth century by the Roman patron and collector Cassiano dal Pozzo and his brother CarloAntonio. It represents one of the most significant attempts before the age of photography to embrace human knowledge in visual form. The collection documents ancient art and culture, architecture, zoology, botany, geology and social customs, and provides us with a major tool for understanding the intellectual concerns of a period during which the foundations of our own scientific methods were established.
The catalogue raisonné, in 35 volumes, will give unprecedented access to this major source of reference for the intellectual, cultural, artistic and scientific history of seventeenth-century Europe. The drawings are being catalogued in two series, Series A covering Antiquities and Architecture, and Series B, Natural History.