New Library acquisition: Opusculum de mirabilibus nouae & ueteris vrbis Romae

Author: Tracy Bergstrom

The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections has recently acquired the following item: 

Francesco Albertini.  Opusculum de mirabilibus nouae & ueteris vrbis Romae.  Rome, Jacobus Mazochius, 1510.



The first two books of this three-part guide written by Albertini, a Florentine priest who resided in Rome, are concerned with the description of antiquities.  Organized by categories of monuments, the contents of these sections share much in common with other contemporaneous guidebooks.   

In the third book, however, Albertini concentrates on the contemporary city around him, recording his thoughts on the building and artistic programmes of Nicholas V, Sixtus IV and Julius II.   These observations include a description of the newly decorated Sistine Chapel, including the ceiling recently painted by a ‘Michael Archangelus Florentinus.’  This is the first printed reference to Michelangelo Buonarroti’s ceiling as well as several other projects initiated by Julius II.