The artifact is an etching from 1718, during the pontificate of Clement XI. It depicts a map of the city of Rome, Old & New. The map encompasses the majority of the etching, but the entire right side resembles a monument with an image of Pope Clement XI in a format referred to as a cartouche. He is above information about the creation of the etching by Christoper Weigelio Norimb. The last line suggests, It’s not possible to see more of Rome than is being shown here.
Images of 1718 present day Rome included Saint Peter’s Basilica to the left of the information with the Piazza San Pietro in the distance. There is a mystical representation of the Bernini Chair of Peter with the Holy Spirit window at the far back wall of Saint Peter’s. The four figures depict Saints Augustine, Ambrose, Athanasius and John Chrysostom.
Etching is the process of using strong acid or another chemical to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design in relief within the metal. Along with engraving, this method of printmaking was the most important technique for old master prints, and remains in wide use today.
The etching is a valuable and beautiful addition to the Collection.