View of the Villa La Petraia, in Vedute delle ville, e d'altri luoghi della Toscana (page 33)

Draftsman: After a drawing by Giuseppe Zocchi (Italian, Florence 1711–1767 Florence)

Publisher: Giuseppe Allegrini (Italian, 18th century)

Patron: Commissioned by Marchese Andrea Gerini (Italian, 1691–1766)

Etcher: Filippo Morghen (Italian, Florence 1730–after 1807 Naples)

Published in: Florence

Date: 1744

Medium: Etching

Dimensions: Book: 13 7/16 × 20 13/16 × 7/8 in. (34.2 × 52.9 × 2.3 cm)
Sheet: 13 1/8 x 20 1/4 in. (33.4 x 51.5 cm)
Plate: 11 13/16 × 19 1/2 in. (30 × 49.5 cm)

Classification: Books

Credit Line: Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1936

Accession Number: 36.31.10(33)


At the center of Tuscan villa culture were the acclaimed, originally sixteenth-century villas of the Medici family in and around Florence. In addition to the Villa La Petraia (1575–90) and neighboring Villa Castello, the best-known surviving villas of the family are the magnificently situated Villa Medici at Fiesole (1460s), the stately villa at Poggio a Caiano (ca. 1479), and the unusual villa-park at Pratolino (1569–86). The Villa La Petraia, with its central belvedere overlooking the Arno valley, was built on the spot of an old manor by Bernardo Buontalenti (ca. 1570), architect of the Tuscan Grand Ducal Court. Zocchi's refined drawing, after which the prints were made, shows the hazy atmosphere of villa and garden in the warm light of a Tuscan afternoon. A popular collector's item throughout the eighteenth century, Zocchi's beautiful book encouraged many Englishman and other Northern Europeans to visit Italy and not only study but experience firsthand villa life and the art and architecture.