In a sense, however, the Bufalini Plan was out of sync with its time: an ambitious project that did not fully correspond to contemporary tendencies in archaeo-historical investigation, not to mention popular taste in city imagery – probably the greatest single contributor to the lacklustre reception of the map. Among the many images of Rome published for an open market in the sixteenth century, the map was an anomaly, and Bufalini underestimated the tenacity of the preference for pictorial city imagery. No comparable ichnographic map of Rome was published until the Nolli Plan, despite the growing demand for imagery of the city – demand that was answered by an endless stream of pictorial views in varying forms and formats. [n. 43] The Bufalini Plan was all but forgotten until 1748, when Nolli himself, in a fitting and poignant tribute to his predecessor, printed a reduced version of it to complement the publication of his own map. Recent expansions in visual literacy meant that Renaissance viewers could make sense of the Bufalini Plan, but it did not mean that they appreciated it on an aesthetic level. For all its acclaim, even the Nolli Plan – the true successor of the Bufalini Plan in size, scope, and intent, as well as graphic type – also failed to become a popular success. The evocation of place, it seems, necessarily involved an appeal to vision.




[43] In the two centuries between the Bufalini and Nolli maps, two other iconographic plans of the city did appear. The first was Alò Giovannoli's much reduced version of the Bufalini Plan (1616, 52 x 39 cm), which shows considerably less detail than the original, but is updated to show the urban improvements of Sixtus V. On that map, see Frutaz, Le piante di Roma, vol. 1, 204, vol. 2, no. 144. The other was Antonio Barbey's Nuova pianta della città di Roma (1697, 53.5 x 58 cm), which was no longer dependent on the Bufalini Plan, but much smaller in size and reduced in detail (Frutaz, Le piante di Roma, vol. 1, 225, vol. 3, no. 162). Two other maps that were published between Bufalini and Nolli are nearly ichnographic, but show selected structures in perspective. These ar Matteo de Ross's Nuova pianta di Roma present (1668, 169 x 129 cm; Frutza, Le Piante di Roma, vol. 1, 210-20, vol. 3, no. 157) and Nicolas de Fer's diminutive Plan de la ville de Rome (1700, 24 x 31 cm; Frutaz, Le piante di Roma, vol. 1, 227, vol. 3, no. 163).