Digging and Dealing in Eighteenth-Century Rome Volumes 1 and 2 Ilaria Bignamini, Clare Hornsby

The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
Multiple copy pack
Publication date:
04 May 2010
Paul Mellon Centre BA
630 pages: 210 x 273mm
200 b-w + 50 color illus.

This long-awaited book offers the first overview of all British-led excavation sites in and around Rome in the golden age of the Grand Tour in the eighteenth century. Based on work carried out by the late Ilaria Bignamini, it traces sculptures and other works of art that are currently in public collections around the world from their original find sites via the dealers and entrepreneurs to the private collectors in Britain.

In the first of two extensively illustrated volumes, approximately fifty sites are analyzed in historical and topographical detail, supported by fifty newly written and researched biographies of the major names in the Anglo-Italian world of dealing and collecting. The second volume features hundreds of letters from dealers and excavators abroad to collectors in England, offering a rich source of information about all aspects of the art market at the time.

The late Ilaria Bignamini was a historian of art and archeology. Clare Hornsby is Research Fellow at the British School at Rome.

"These two volumes provide a wonderfully rich excavation site for scholars to mine with gratitude and enjoyment." -Jonathon Scott, Burlington Magazine

"This is a fascinating exploration and interrogation of Italian and English archives relating to the exploitation and removal of antiquities aplenty from Rome and its environs by elites and their agents during the so-called 'Golden Age' of the Grand Tour…..[it is a] major new corpus on 'the British conquest of the marbles of ancient Rome'."—Neil Christie, The Antiquaries Journal