GIO. ANTONIO RIZZI-ZANNONI’S MAP OF ITALY in four imperial sheets with post roads and stations added. Venice. Period 1806
This beautiful and accurate representation of Italy is the same as that published by the Florentine editor Giuseppe Molini four years earlier, with the addition of post roads and stations. It originates from a copperplate engraving done by the famous geographer A. Rizzi-Zannoni, who also supervised the final stages of the work. The finished map is cut into sections, which are then mounted on a canvas backing to allow folding and better conservation. The cartographic drawing which was used is the famous one by Cassini, which took Paris as the meridian starting point. The orography is rendered in perspective with oblique light shading. There are eight drawing scales in the old units of measurement used in Italy, France, Germany and the various Italian states. The cartouche at the bottom right-hand corner is of particularly high quality and gives the drawing a pleasing artistic aspect.
In order to create and make available once more a map of Italy of such elegance and beauty, naturally the same techniques and the same materials employed at the time had to be used.
The difficulties that the engravers of the past encountered in using the engraving method for preparing their matrices are noted. The plates required a great amount of time to make and once finished could not be corrected, with result that it isn’t uncommon to find errors in the maps. Furthermore, only a limited number of copies could be made, since the plates, which at first were made of wood and later of copper, tended to deteriorate rapidly when subjected repeatedly to the flattening exerted by the press. But the only printing technique, which makes it possible to obtain results approaching those achieved by our predecessors is that using etchings in relief, the oldest expression of the graphic arts.
In creating this work this was the technique we chose. We used only a manually operated press and plates engraved with skill and precision. Each print is thus an original which differs from the others in slight but important ways. The drawing is transferred onto a support of 100% pure cotton of the correct weight, which gives the work softness and suppleness which are truly unique.
In order to recreate the atmosphere and allure of the works of art of the past, the paper was aged by hand, one sheet at a time, by a process which uses strictly organic substances.This process, too, tends to make each engraving different from the others, because this method is not, and never will be, uniform and invariable. Next, the paper is cut and anchored to a canvas backing, this tee made of pure cotton, which is skillfully aged using the same technique as that used for the paper support.
The primary objective of this entire operation is to create a map which is once again rendered in its original beauty and which has regained its historical-cultural value. The last -- but no less important -- step is the coloring with watercolors, done by experts, which gives the paper that polychrome appearance with its undoubted scenic effect. Naturally, the colors to be used are chosen in consideration of the original colors and also the changes which the watercolors of the original artists have undergone over the centuries, obtaining a result that can give the enjoyable feeling of reliving a long ago past.
Our canvases are printed with a hand press and are produced only to order. It takes about 7 days for black and white production and about 14 days for color production.
* Each canvas is also available with watercolor coloring, always done by hand.
Attention: the canvases arrive unframed.