The Romance of Ruins

The 13 digitization jobs uploaded March 16 at Digita Vaticana include four volumes of vedute or landscape drawings by the 18th-century artist Carlo Labruzzi (1765-1818), mainly of ruins along the Via Appia outside Rome.

There is also a volume of views by the English artist and antiquary Richard Colt Hoare of buildings and towns on the road south to Naples.

The romance of ruins drew a steady stream in the 18th century of English visitors eager to spend plenty of money to take such pictures home with them and hang them on parlour walls. They are not great art, but certainly better composed than most of the smartphone snaps we tourists take today. It must have been a fascinating time to explore Italy's ruins, before urbanization spread over so much of the area.

The BAV digitization programme also now extends to a second Coptic codex and offers its first codex in the Bulgarian language. Here is my unofficial list:
  1. Vat.ar.695
  2. Vat.copt.59, one of a series of significant 9th-10th-century Coptic Bohairic manuscripts from Wadi el-Natrun
  3. Vat.gr.901, miscellany; (Pinakes)
  4. Vat.gr.1418, contains Dionysius Halicarnassensis's Roman Antiquities: (Pinakes)
  5. Vat.gr.1422, (Pinakes)
  6. Vat.gr.2118, (Pinakes)
  7. Vat.lat.14929, 18th-century drawings of the Via Appia by Labruzzi, bound in London and formerly owned by Thomas Ashby, vol 1
  8. Vat.lat.14930, ditto, vol 2
  9. Vat.lat.14931, ditto, vol 3
  10. Vat.lat.14932, ditto, vol 4
  11. Vat.lat.14934, views 1790-91 by the English artist Richard Colt Hoare of ruins and towns on the road between Rome and Naples, with his annotations (in English of course); the BAV online catalogue lists this as a Labruzzi, but that seems to be a mistake.
  12. Vat.sir.599
  13. Vat.slav.27, Bulgarian codex
The new total: 1,852 items. As always, enter corrections or advice about the significance of these items in the comment box below. [This is Piggin's Unofficial List 6.]

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