Giuseppe Vasi was born in 1710 in Corleone, Sicily. Between 1747 and 1761 he published Sulle magnificenze di Roma Antica e Moderna, ten books
of etchings showing the monuments of Rome.
At that time, with the completion of Fontana di Trevi and of Scalinata di Trinitą dei Monti (Spanish Steps), the finest period of Baroque Rome was coming to an end.
The two verses mean "I read on the face of the Founder of Rome how much greatness is inside (the city)"
The first Book is opened by an etching based on a sketch by Sebastiano Conca. Conca, a painter, was a very influential artist in XVIIIth century Rome. He was twice Principe dell'Accademia di S. Luca, a sort of chairman of the association of the Roman artists. In this role he could help young artists and Vasi in 1747 needed help to establish himself as a reputed etcher. The image shows Romulus, the founder of Rome, talking to the personification of the River Tiber and behind them an ideal view of the city founded by Romulus on the Palatine, the so-called Cittą Quadrata (Square City). This book includes also a simple Map of the Walls of Rome.
Book I - Le Porte e le Mura di Roma - 1747 (The Gates and the Walls of Rome)
Book II - Le Piazze principali con obelischi, colonne ed altri ornamenti - 1752 (The main Squares with obelisks, columns and other embellishments)
Book III - Le Basiliche e Chiese antiche - 1753 (The Basilicas and the Old Churches)
Book IV - I Palazzi e le vie pił celebri - 1754 (The Palaces and the most famous Streets)
Book V - I Ponti e gli edifici sul Tevere - 1754 (The Bridges and the buildings on the Tiber)
Book VI - Le Chiese parrocchiali - 1756 (The Parish Churches)
Book VII - I Conventi e case dei chierici regolari - 1756 (The Friaries)
Book VIII - I Monasterj e conservatori di donne - 1758 (The Nunneries)
Book IX - I Collegi, Spedali e luoghi pii - 1759 (Colleges, Hospitals and other pious buildings)
Book X - Le Ville e giardini pił rimarchevoli - 1761 (The most remarkable Villas and Gardens)
After having completed his ten books of etchings Vasi wrote a guide for visiting Rome in eight days
and driven by the success of this guide he published in 1765 the Grand View of Rome.
In 1781 he completed his work with a bird's eye Map of Rome.