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Nineteenth-Century Italian Subjects and Sites

Melville’s engravings after nineteenth-century Italian artists and sites were more attuned to the contemporary life of that century than to the glories of the Renaissance or Ancient Rome. His copy of Longhi’s engraving of Napoleon as King of Italy depicted a persona who influenced every element of that nation’s political, cultural, ecclesiastical, and military life. His colored engraving of an unknown ecclesiastical ceremony in Rome speaks to the marriage of religious and militaristic power early in the century. His colored lithograph of a fishmonger selling his wares in Naples evokes the street life that Melville enjoyed in that city, whereas his colored engraving of the Bay of Naples pictured a site in his travels that he savored as long as he lived, framed on a wall immediately inside the entrance of his house on East 26th Street in New York City, just outside the parlor presided over by his bust of Antinous (Parker 1997: 40).

  • Works cited in this section:
  • De Vesme, Alexandre. Stefano della Bella: catalogue raisonne, ed. with additions by Phyllis Dearborn Massar. 2 vol. New York: Collectors Editions, 1971.
  • Halsey, Frederic Robert. Raphael Morghen’s Engraved Works. New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1885.
  • Machiavelli, Nicollò. The Prince. Tr. and ed. Robert M. Adams. Norton Critical Edition. New York: W. W. Norton, 1977.
  • Massar, Phyllis Dearborn. Presenting Stefano della Bella: Seventeenth-century Printmaker. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1971.
  • Massari, Stefania. “Longhi, Giuseppe.” Grove, 1996, 19: 636-37.
  • Metcalf, Eleanor Melville. Herman Melville: Cycle and Epicycle. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1953.
  • “Read, Samuel (1815?-1883).” Radnorshire Fine Art Ltd., 
  • Reynolds, Larry J. The European Revolution and the American Literary Renaissance. New Haven: Yale UP, 1988.
  • Sealts, Merton M., Jr. The Early Lives of Melville. Madison: U of Wisconsin P, 1974.
  • Valery, Antoine Claude Pasquin. Historical, Literary, and Artistical Travels through Italy. Tr. C. E. Clifton. Paris: Baudry, 1852 (Sealts no. 533).
  • “View of Naples.” Illustrated London News 35 (November 29, 1956): 544.
  • Wallace, Robert K. Melville and Turner: Spheres of Love and Fright. Athens GA: University of Georgia Press, 1992.