Name of Object:

The Laboratories of the Istituto delle Scienze of Bologna

Also known as:

The Visit of Frederick Christian of Poland to the Istituto delle Scienze of Bologna


Bologna, Italy

Holding Museum:

Archivio di Stato

Date of Object:

November/December 1739

Artist(s) / Craftsperson(s):

Antonio Alessandro Scarselli (1684, Bologna-1773, Bologna)

Museum Inventory Number:

ASBo, Anziani Consoli, Insignia, volume XIII, c. 140

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Illumination on parchment


400 x 530 mm

Workshop / Movement:

Eighteenth-century Bolognese illuminator and engraver


Archive of the Bolognese Senate

Type of object:


Period of activity:


Place of production:



The Insignia degli Anziani Consoli, housed in the Archivio di Stato, of Bologna, are documents on parchment commissioned every two months, from 1530 to 1796. These bound 16 volumes celebrate the eight Anziani Consoli and the Gonfaloniere di Giustizia, a group of ruling magistrates. From the end of the sixteenth-century the names of the magistrates were written flanked by their coats of arms and a depiction of a significant event that took place during the bimester of their charge. These manuscripts provide an extraordinary visual chronicle illustrating more than two centuries of the city's history with six pictures a year. This picture, refers to the last bimester of 1739, shows the inside of the Istituto delle Scienze of Bologna during the visit of prince Frederick Christian of Poland. The prince is sitting examining a fortress plan. In the background are visible from the left: the anatomy room, the school of the nude, and the Institute library. On the top is the coat of arms of the eight Anziani Consoli and in the middle, that of the Gonfaloniere di Giustizia.

View Short Description

This illumination shows the Istituto delle Scienze of Bologna during the visit of Prince Frederick Christian of Poland. In the middle of the scene, the prince is examining a fortress plan; in the background it is possible to see the rooms of the Istituto.

Original Owner:

Anziani Consoli of the town of Bologna

Current Owner:

Italian State

How date and origin were established:

The date of the illumination (1739, last bimester), the subject depicted and the patronage (the Anziani Consoli of Bologna) are inscribed in the caption, below the picture.

How Object was obtained:

This illumination, like the whole series, has always been housed in the archive of the Bolognese senate, inside the municipal palace. It was transferred to the Archivio di Stato in 1874, when it was created.

Selected bibliography:

Plessi, G. Le Insignia degli Anziani del Comune dal 1530 al 1796. Catalogo-Inventario, Rome, 1954.
Matteucci, A. M. “La cultura dell'effimero a Bologna nel XVII secolo”, Barocco Romano e Barocco Italiano. Il teatro, l'effimero, l'allegoria (eds. M. Fagiolo and M. L. Madonna), Rome, 1985, pp. 159-173.
Zanni Rosiello, I. “Le Insignia degli Anziani: un autoritratto celebrativo”, Società e storia: 52, 1991, pp. 329-362.
Crespi, L. Vite de' pittori bolognesi, Rome, 1769.
Cavazza, M. Settecento inquieto. Alle origini dell'Istituto delle scienze di Bologna, Bologna, 1990.

Citation of this web page:

Massimo  Giansante "The Laboratories of the Istituto delle Scienze of Bologna" in "Discover Baroque Art", Museum With No Frontiers, 2021.;BAR;it;Mus13_C;37;en

Prepared by: Massimo Giansante
Translation by: Antonella Mampieri
Translation copyedited by: Lisa Kelman

MWNF Working Number: IT2 41