Monday, 12 November 2007

Luigi, Duca di Cassano

Luigi Cassano Serra (b. 30.10.1747 - d. 21.10.1825), 4th Duke of Cassano, Marquess of Rivadebro.

(Gelli, p. 100
He was the son of Giuseppe Serra, (b. Genoa 21.5.1714, d. 1763) and of Laura Cassano, 3th Duchess of Cassano, Marquise of Rivadebro (b. Cassano 19.7.1723, d. Naples 22.9.1790).
He married, in Naples, in 17.6.1770, Giulia Carafa (b. 29-10-1755- d. 13-3-1841), dau. of Gennaro I Carafa Cantelmo Stuart (b. Naples 1-9-1715- d. 31-10-1767), 7th Prince of Roccella, Prince of the holy Roman Empire, 4th Duke of Bruzzano, 9th Marquess of Castelvetere, 3th Marquess of Brancalone, and 10th Count of Grotteria, and of his 2nd wife Principessa Teresa Carafa, 7th Duchess of Forli, 11th Duchess of Chiusa and Countess of Policastro, (b. Naples 17-4-1731 – d. 12-3-1804).
One of his sons Gennaro Serra was executed in 1799 for his involvement with the short lived pro-French Neapolitan Republic. Aftr the Restoration of the Bourbon King, the Duke and his family were exiled and went to live in Toscana and only returned to Naples in 1804.
By 1820 the Duke sold his library to Lord George John Spencer, KG PC FRS FSA, (1758 – 1834), who succeeded as 2nd Earl Spencer, in 1783, married to Lady Lavinia Bingham and brother of the famous Lady Georgiana Spencer, Duchess of Devonshire. Apart from rebuilding of Althorp under Holland, he was an ardent bibliophile who owned on of the greatest and best private libraries in Europe.
His bibliomania led him to enrichen his family library with incunabula namely, by the acquisition of Count Reviczky’s library, in 1790, and three decades later, the Duke of Serra-Cassano Library, in Naples. The Spencer Library was sold in 1892, by the 5th Earl Spencer to Mrs. Ryland and is now at the John Rylands University Library.
See, Palazzo Serra di Cassano, in Naples, at

Line engraving by Raphael Sanzio Cavaliere Morghen (1758-1833)
«One of the greatest engravers of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Raphael Morghen first received instruction from his father, Filippo Morghen (1730-1777), who himself was an accomplished engraver of mythological subjects and portraits. Filippo Morghen was quick to recognize the remarkable talents of his son and sent him to Rome to complete his studies under Volpato. Raphael Morghen published his first engraving at the tender age of twelve. By the age of twenty he had established himself as one of the leading engravers of Europe and received numerous commissions for his beautiful portraits and mythological and religious images.

During his career, Morghen both lived and worked in Naples, Rome and in Florence. In total he executed over two hundred and fifty-two original engravings after the art of such masters as Raphael, Titian, Bronzino, Correggio and Matteini. He was a member of Italy's most prestigious academies and of the French Institute. Morghen was also appointed the principle Professor of the Academy at Florence by the Grand Duke Ferdinand III (1793). From this position he influenced an entire generation of early nineteenth century engravers.» (from

Engraved fine portraits of Emma, Lady Hamilton and Lord George Byron (see,
Bibliography: Halsey, Frederic Robert, Raphael Morghen’s engraved works: being a descriptive catalogue of all the engravings of this master, the inscriptions given at full length, and the variations of the states precisely set forth, accompanied by biographical and other notes, with a life of the engraver. NY & London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, The Knickerbocker Press, 1885.

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