"Lacus Anianus. Agnano Lac de la Terre de Labour Province du Royaume de Naples", Blaeu/Mortier
Subject: Lake Agnano, Italy
Period: 1704 (circa)
Publication: Nouveau Theatre d'Italie
Color: Black & White
20.8 x 16.5 inches
52.8 x 41.9 cm
This fascinating engraving was published in Blaeu's town book of Italy and is a close copy of a view that appeared in Braun & Hogenberg's Civitates Orbis Terrarum. This view shows the volcanic Lake Agnano. The structure to the far right of the lake is the "Sudatorium S. Germani," where the hot sulphur gases are stored for medicinal purposes. At the center of the image, three men lead a hunting dog into a deadly cave (identified with a skeleton brandishing an arrow) known as the the Grotta del Cane (Dog's Cave), which received its name due to the gases that rise from the floor, such that any dog who entered would be rendered unconscious. The lore explained that if a creature were immediately pulled out of the cave and thrown into the lake, it would slowly recover and come to life again, as evidenced by the men dipping a dog into the lake.
References: Shirley (BL Atlases) T.BLA-4b.
A nice impression with minor toning along the centerfold, soft creases at top right, and centerfold separations confined to the top and bottom margins.