An outstanding cultural promoter, collector and patron of the arts in his native Spain, Gaspar de Haro y Guzmán (1629–87), 7th Marquess del Carpio, left his mark as ambassador in Rome (1677–82) and as viceroy in Naples (1682–7). In Italy, Carpio assembled forty-three volumes of drawings, of which only four, including SAL ms 879, have been spared dismemberment. Yet, lumping the ‘Carpio Album’ together with the nobleman’s collection of original drawings completely misses the point. Unlike the others, which were assembled to boost Carpio’s connoisseurship of Italian art, the Album was commissioned to showcase the collection of (largely antique) sculpture he had acquired in Rome and the series of modern fountains he commissioned, also in Rome. Like Vincenzo Giustiniani’s epoch-making Galleria Giustiniana of 1636–7, the Album was to be printed. The marquess’s departure for Naples cut short an ambitious publication project, the theoretical background and pedagogic scope of which have been largely overlooked. The attribution of drawings to artists Philipp Schor and Paolo De Matteis, amongst others, underlines the complex cultural agenda underpinning an Album conceived to reinstate the Roma antica myth by linking it to its Roma moderna counterpart. A new understanding of De Matteis’s artistry and objectives in configuring the Album is complemented with findings regarding Carpio’s commissioning or acquisition of antique, pseudo-antique and modern sculpture. The collection’s fateful dispersal helps unravel the Album’s most likely provenance.