Book Series The Paper Museum of Cassiano dal Pozzo. Series C: Prints, vol. 1

The Print Collection of Cassiano dal Pozzo. I: Ceremonies, Costumes, Portraits and Genre

Mark McDonald

  • Pages:3 vols, 1024 p.
  • Size:220 x 285 mm
  • Illustrations:1676 b/w
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2017

  • ISBN: 978-1-909400-78-8
  • Hardback
  • Available


‘An extraordinary achievement … The mass of new prints and wonderful illustrations (and thankfully the texts) will make this a landmark in print history. It will take the print world a couple of decades to digest the contents, but print history will never be the same after this’ (Antony Griffiths, former Keeper of the Department of Prints and Drawings, British Museum)

"Running to 1,032 pages and with 1,712 illustrations, it is an absolute treasure-trove of weird and wonderful material, combining as it does the relatively familiar with the resolutely obscure." (David Ekserdjian, in: Evening Standard, 21 December 2017)

“Everything about the Museo Cartaceo dal Pozzo is impressive – size, encyclopaedic comprehensiveness, systematic arrangement (…) these are excellent volumes, a monument to careful and intelligent scholarship with a helpful bibliography and index.” (Helen Watanabe-O’Kelly, in The Art Newspaper Review, 298, 2018)

“È questa una delle tante scoperte che si possono fare percorrendo questi ponderosi volumi, da usare come dei reference books che i preziosi apparati critici contribuiscono a rendere da ora indispensabili nello studio del collezionismo di stampe del Seicento. Essi restano la fonte ufficiale con cui dovranno con[1]frontarsi negli anni a venire gli studiosi intenzionati a decifrare quell’enigma poliedrico, contraddittorio e complesso che risponde al nome di Museo cartaceo e, più in generale, tutti coloro interessati a comprendere meglio la storia dell’incisione. (GIORGIO MARINI, in Bollettino d’Arte, 51-51, 2021, p. 228)




Cassiano dal Pozzo’s print collection was unique in its scope and organisation. Some 3,000 prints are known, in nine albums and many loose impressions mainly divided between the British Library and the Royal Library at Windsor Castle. Cassiano (1588–1657) and his younger brother Carlo Antonio dal Pozzo (1606–89) did not commission printmakers to engrave plates (as they did drawings), buying instead what was available from the flourishing printmaking industry of the time. The material they collected was essentially documentary, and they organised the collection by subject matter: costumes, religious processions and ceremonies, tombs and catafalques, the history of St Peter’s, architecture, topography, maps and military engagements, portraits, social and humorous subjects, and so on. This first part of the catalogue presents ceremonies, costumes, portrait and genre prints.

A remarkable proportion of the prints are not to be found in the existing literature, and many constitute additions to the known works of major printmakers. Indeed Cassiano’s collection has been described as ‘so far outside the common range of print collectors both in the seventeenth century and today that a very high proportion of its contents is excessively rare and will only with great difficulty be found elsewhere’.

This ground-breaking catalogue will be an essential resource not only for students of prints, but for all those studying European visual culture in the seventeenth century.