Les plus beaux monuments de Rome ancienne.? Les plus beaux edifices de Rome moderne.
Rome, chez Bouchard & Gravier, de l'Imprimerie de Komarek 1761-1763, Rome: 1761
Folio (517 x 330mm), 2 volumes bound in one. Engraved vignettes on titles and 30 tailpieces, 44 double-page and 73 single-page plates, of which 44 have 2 separate impressions, woodcut decorative initials without half-titles, first work with old repair to marginal tear on leaf B and browning to leaf 2V and adjacent plate, but otherwise a clean, crisp copy with only a few minor insignificant scattered spots and stains. Contemporary calf by Brunck, signed in gilt at foot of spine, spine gilt in 8 compartments, gilt lettering-piece in second. (extremities restored). Provenance: John Waldie (armorial bookplate) ? Sir Richard and Lady Waldie Griffith (presentation inscription gifting the book as a wedding present to:) ? Lady Burleigh.GBP 22,000 A beautiful architectural sammelband, in fine impression, with over a hundred engravings of ancient and modern views of Rome. After moving to Rome better to study its antiquities, the French Jean Barbault (1705-66) collaborated with Piranesi, etching several plates depicting sepulchral monuments. He fulfilled his passion for art and archaeology by producing several successful suites of architectural prints, republished after his death.The first work, on the most beautiful monuments of ancient Rome, comprises 73 engraved plates, with a total of 128 copperplates (the number appearing in the work's title), mostly produced by Barbault. Most buildings (temples, arches, amphitheatres, columns, obelisks, aqueducts, etc.) are portrayed and accompanied by a brief historico-archaeological text on their architecture, bringing together ancient authorities and Barbault's personal experience as a French grand-tourist. Plates 55-73, which come without explanation, are entirely devoted to ancient sculpture (including an Etruscan figure found in a sepulchral urn) and bas-reliefs; pp.86-7 ?illustrate and describe three large paintings discovered at Herculaneum, and include two small, unsigned views of excavations there' (BAL).The second work, with 44 double-page and 20 smaller copperplates on Rome's most beautiful modern buildings, was published posthumously, and it is similarly organised, with illustrations and textual explanation. It opens with a magnificent large plate of St Peter's Basilica and Piazza; the following provide views of the church including its interior, of S. Giovanni in Laterano, San Paolo Fuori le Mura, Sant'Ignazio, the Jesuit Collegio Romano, Piazza Navona, and so on. Barbault renders modern buildings with the same monumentality of ancient ruins inspired by Piranesi, towering over the few scattered figures going about their daily life. The antiquity of Rome appears inevitably in several scenes, for instance, the view of Palazzo Chigi facing the Colonna Traiana.Nothing appears to be known about Brunck, who bound this copy. One of his exquisite bindings is preserved at the BL (c154f2), as part of the Charles Ramsden Collection of Signed Bindings. I: Brunet, I, 646; Gra?sse, I, 289; BAL 184; Fowler 37; Cicognara 3592.LC, Missouri, NGA, Columbia, Princeton, Yale, Boston Athenaeum, Harvard, Phillips Exeter, Getty, UCLA, Cornell, JHU, Cornell, Penn State, HRC, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Minnesota, Chicago, Illinois and Penn copies recorded in the US. II: Brunet, I, 646; Graesse I, 289. Not in BAL.
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La Divina Comedia Di Dante, di nuouo alla sua vera lettione ridotta con loaiuto di molti antichissimi esemplari. Con argomenti, et allegorie per ciascuncanto, e apostille nel margine. Et indice copiosissimo .12mo (129 x 75 mm), early 19th cent. brown half calf, with gilt title and fillets on spine, boards covered with marbled paper, sprinkled edges, a clean, good copy, with the bookplate of Leo S. Olschki (light warterstain at gutter of last leaves). Giolito's woodcut device on title-page and (larger) on last leaf, pp. (36), 598, (2, with colophon and device).One of the rarest and most elegant 16th century editions of the Commedia, here appears for the first time the term of ?Divina? Although Dante had already beencalled ?Divino' for some time, the definitive title of the poem is due to Dolce (1508 - 1568), who composed the notes of this edition, never reprinted by Giolito. It is decorated with a large number of woodcut headings and initials, and typographical decorations, with a half-page woodcut portrait of Dante and twelve woodcuts at 2/3 of page; the text is in italics and the comment is printed in the margins in small type; each ?Canto' is preceded by an allegory and by the subject. Two issues of this edition are known, with significant variations in the typographic ornaments and in the layout of the text. Mambelli 39; Olschki cat. ?Letteratura dantesca? (Cat. LXXV, 1911), n.50; Bongi I, 475-476; De Batines, I, p. 90-91; Brunet, II,504: ?Edition bien imprimee et faite avec soin?; Adams D-101.
Cremona fedelissima città et nobilissima colonia de romani rappresentata in disegno col suo contado et illustrata d’vna breue historia delle cose piu notabili appartenenti ad essa et de i ritratti naturali de duchi et duchesse di Milano e compendio delle lor vite da Antonio Campo pittore e caualier cremonese al potentissimo e felicissimo re di Spagna Filippo II d’AustriaCAMPO, Antonio. Folio (402 x 265mm). Allegorical title-page with figures, one winged figure is working on an inscription to Philip II, whose device appears at the head of the title and coat of arms below (with alterated date where it reads 1583), portrait of Philip II in a medallion without cap and 55 small shields with the arms of the states belonging to the Spanish crown, allegory of Cremona on the verso of the second leaf, portrait of Antonio Campo, figure with the Carroccio proceeding from the gates of Cremona, 9 oval portraits of bishops or other illustrious personalities, 24 oval portraits of the dukes and duchesses of Milan with the portrait of Philip II wearing a hat on p.112, plates depicting the baptistery and its plan, the facade of the Cremona Cathedral, the tower and its plan all engraved by Agostino Carracci; the plan of Cremona folded several times and dated 1582, the map of the Contado and Diocese of Cremona engraved by David de Laude , text within woodcut border, woodcut initials and headpieces, with the blank leaf at the end of the third book. Early XVIII century stiff vellum with gilt title on spine, marbled edges. A small wormtrak in the upper white margin of the first five leaves, a very fine wide margined copy in eighteent century stiff vellum with brown morocco lettering-piece on spine from the library of the Zurla family from Crema.First edition of this magnifcently illustrated history of Cremona, one of the most beautiful illustrated books of the late Cinquecento. The work, divided in four books, contains the history of Cremona cronologically organized from the foundadion by the Romans up to 1585. A fifth book, devoted to the description of the Cathedral and other churches, announced by the author was never published. The book is illustrated by 33 medallion portraits of Cremona prominrnt citizens and the dukes and duchesses of Milan by Agostino Carracci; many of the accompanying letterpress descriptions include a note as to the source of the image, including on page 104 a now lost portrait of Massimiliano Sforza by Leonardo da Vinci, then 'in casa di Francesco Melcio gentil'huomo Milanese'. Our copy belongs to the second -the correct one- issue of the book ?with only 56 lines in the address to the Consiglieri (shortened by the elimination of references to an unpublished fifth book on churches of Cremona), and with a second portrait of Philip II printed on O4v, rather than a masked-reprinting of the plate appearing on the title verso. The large city plani is also in the second issue, with the engraver signing himself ?David de Laude Crem. Hebreus?: a rather early reference to a Jewish engraver in the Renaissance' (Sotheby's The Cottection of Otto Schäfer, 1994). The title-page, the first portrait of Philip II, the allegory of Cremona, and the Carroccio are all signed by Antonio Campo as a designer. Cicognara 3977; Adams C 489; Mortimer Italian 100.
[The Commentaries.] C. Julii Cæsaris Quae Extant. Accuratissimè cum Libris Editis & MSS optimis Collata, Recognita & Correcta. Accesserunt Annotationes Samuelis Clarke. S.T.P. Item Indices Locorum, Rerumque & Verborum Utilissimæ. Tabulis Æneis Ornata.Folio (465 x 288mm). 87 engraved plates, comprising: engraved double-page additional title, 61 double-page plates, many by C. Huijberts after Mantegna, including a famous image of a bison, 25 full-page plates including a folding portrait of the Duke of Marlborough by George Vertue (1684-1756); numerous engraved headpieces and vignettes in the text, initials. Faint even browning throughout but a very fine copy in contemporary red morocco, spine richly gilt in 8 compartments, dark-green morocco gilt lettering-piece in second, the others with foliate tools and volute cornerpieces, marbled endpapers, gilt turn-ins and edges. Provenance: 'L' (small circular stamp dated 1910 on rear free endpaper). First edition.?The most sumptuous classical work which this country has produced' (Lowndes) bound in contemporary red morocco with 87 attractive engravings by various artists, including the famous image of a bison that is sometimes missing or damaged. The Tonson's Caesar received contemporary praise from Joseph Addison as ?a Work that does honour to the English Press', having ?passed thro' the Hands of one of the most accurate, learned and judicious Writers this Age has produced. The Beauty of the Paper, of the Character, and of the several Cuts with which this noble Work is illustrated, makes it the finest Book that I have ever seen; and is a true Instance of the English Genius' (The Spectator no. 367, May 1712). The work is annotated by Samuel Clarke (1675-1729), a major English philosopher, especially renowned for his theories on the existence of God and the immortality of the soul. He also corresponded with Leibnitz and in 1706 translated Newton's Optiks into latin. Among his philological works is also an edition of the first 12 books of the Iliad. For the present edition, he chose Caesar's accounts of his campaigns in Gaul and Britain (58-50BC) and of his participation in the Roman Civil War (49-48BC) along with the remaining works on his military campaigns in Alexandria and Asia, Africa, and the Iberian peninsula. The volume is ?dedicated to John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, the victorious English general at the Battle of Blenheim (1704) and instrumental to the military successes of the Grand Alliance more generally, this monumental volume establishes by a secular typology that Marlborough is the new Julius Caesar of Europe. Strange as that may seem from the long view of history, Samuel Clarke's cloying dedication to the Duke as the ?noblest, wisest, and strongest? of men (?Nobilissimo, Sapientissimo, & Fortissimo?) says as much from its opening paragraph, describing the ancient commander as ?outdone only by YOU [Marlborough] in glory and success, and in every part of the character of a consummate general? (?TUA solius armorum gloria & felicitate & laude omni superatum?).10 Understandably, then, Marlborough's portrait (by George Vertue after Godfrey Kneller), complete with a cartouche proclaiming him ?Illustrissimus, Potentissimus, et Excellentissimus,? occupies pride of place as the frontispiece of the volume.' (Michael F. Suarez, Hard Cases: Confronting Bibliographical Difficulty in Eighteenth-Century Texts. pbsa 111:1 (2017): 1?30 © 2017 Bibliographical Society of America.)Brunet I, 1456; Lowndes I, p.344-345.
Orlando furioso di m. Lodouico Ariosto nuouamente adornato di figure di rame da Girolamo Porro padouano et di altre cose che saranno notate nella seguente facciata.Quarto (265x180 mm.), three parts in one volume;  leaves, 654 pages,  leaves, 43,  leaf with the blank leaves u8 and l4 Title-page engraved, within an architectural border including a portrait of Ariosto, standing figures of Mars and Venus with Cupid, and De Franceschi's Peace-device; another printer's device on the title-page of the second part. Separate title-pages for the Cinque Canti, and for the Osservazioni del Sig. Alberto Lavezuola, both signed ?Giacomo Francho Fecit'. Forty-six-full-page engravings, one for each canto (plate for Canto ix signed by Porro), and five for the Cinque Canti. Engraved borders for the argomenti, in six different border designs, some engraved on more than one copperplate. Cherub, grotesque, and foliated initials; cherub headpieces, grotesque tailpieces. A couple of old repairs in the white margings, light browing here and there, overall a very fine copy in a contemporary Parisian binding; stiff overlapping vellum, double gilt fillet on covers, gilt center ornament of laurel leaf tools, spine decorated with gilt fillets and fleurons and with manuscript title, gilt edges. From the library of Vico de'Gobbis (ex libris). The most sumptuous edition of the Orlando Furioso, the first edition illustrated with copperplates. ?The only Furioso to stand out from the normal run of editions after 1566 was one printed in 1584 by Francesco De Franceschi. Its appeal to the reader was based, typically for its time, on the literary and artistic presentation of the poem rather than on the accuracy of the text. The basis for the edition was Ruscelli's text and annotations. New engravings by Girolamo Porro were considered important enough to be the first attraction listed after the name on the title page? (B. Richardson, Print Culture in Renaissance Italy, p. 148) ?The Italian 1584 edition is the first Italian edition to be illustrated with copper plates, one placed at the beginning of each canto. Each plate shows various characters from the poem and illustrates each of them in their several actions through the canto. This results in a character being portrayed several times within the same plate, with the visual effect of them moving within the illustration and within the canto'. (Veronica Pizzarotti, The Rylands blog) The author of this lavish icongraphic apparatus was the famous Italian engraver Girolamo Porro who used as base for his illustrations the woodcuts of the 1566 Valgrisi edition even if Porro's copperplates are not replicas of this earlier models: different episodes are always chosen, new inventions are added, and the elaborate frames used by Valgrisi are replaced by simple patterns. These illustrations with some alterations and changes were copied to illustrate John Harington's first English translation of the Orlando Furioso, printed in London by Richard Field in 1591. In our copy the illustration for canto 33 is repeated for canto 34. It is generally belived that the illustration for canto 34 which cointained an image of the pagan Astolfo with St. John the Evangelist in Heaven was suppressed by order of the Inquisition. From a textual point of view, this edition follow the text edited by Gerolamo Ruscelli for the edition printed by Valgrisi in 1556. New explanatory texts are published in this edition for the first time: Vita di M. Lodovico Ariosto, scritta dal sig. Girolamo Garofalo ferrarese; the Allegoria di Gioseffo Bononome sopra il Furioso di M. Lodovico Ariosto and the Epiteti usati dall'Ariosto nel suo Furioso, cavati et posti per ordine d'alfabeto da Camillo Camilli. At the end of the volume we can find the Osservationi sopra il Furioso di m. Lodovico Ariosto. Nelle quali si mostrano tutti i luoghi imitati dall'Auttore nel suo Poema by Alberto Lavezuola. These Osservazioni, published here for the first time, and reprinted in 1730 by Orlandi in his famous edition of the Orlando Furioso, represent the last exegetical commentary to the Furioso produced in the Cinquecento. The most
Trattato della natura de? cibi et del bere [.] nel quale non solo tutte le virtù, & i vitij di quelli minutamente si palesano; ma anco i rimedij per correggere i loro difetti copiosamente s?insegnano.PISANELLI, Baldassarre Folio (332 x 228 mm.),  pages, 25 leaves printed on one side only, bound with printed sides facing, the facing pages having the same page number. Minor spotting, an erased signature on title-page, spine chipped; a very good copy bound in contemporary limp vellum. In a modern box. The scarce first edition of this most important, very popular and much reprinted work on the virtues and vices of food and drink, by the Bolognese physician Baldassarre Pisanelli (d.1587). Pisanelli's nutritional theories were grounded in the principle that ?the nature of a food or drink should be equal, similar or not too dissimilar from the nature of the person who eats or drinks it', as this will facilitate their physiological assimilation. In fact, Trattato was also a ?bridge between the attention still given to physiological theory and that paid to the class connotations of food. While according to the ancient physiologists, a ?low? food could provide adequate sustenance for people doing heavy work, for Pisanelli [?], those foods were crude in nature and poor in nourishment and were best eaten only by poor people who lacked the means to provide themselves with more nutritious fare' (Giannetti, p.1). Part I is structured as a continuous table which presents, for each of the foods or drinks listed on the left, how to choose them, their positive and negative effects, remedies, degrees (when they are hot or cold), and the best time of the year to have them. The facing page, entitled Historie naturali, includes further notes on their properties, nutritional nature and administration (e.g., ?dates are never good for anyone at any time of the year, unless covered in sugar'). Among the dozens of foods listed are fruit, nuts, vegetables, mushrooms (with numerous warnings), herbs, pulses, rice, meat, fish, spices, sugar, vinegar and cheeses. Part II is devoted to drinks and drinking, with a table differentiating among several types of wine, followed by sections on water and the nature and effects of cold food and beverage, more generally. Indeed, like several others produced in the 1570s and 1580s, this work engaged in debates concerning the much-berated habit, borrowed from the ancients, of cooling down wine and other drinks with ice or snow. Only LC and NLM copies recorded in the US; only Leeds and Wellcome in the UK.BM STC It., p.521; Simon, p.349 (1629 ed.); USTC 848973; EDIT16 CNCE 26731; Durling 3659ff. (later eds); Wellcome I, 5051ff. (later eds); Brunet IV, 675 (later eds). L. Giannetti, ?Italian Renaissance Food-Fashioning', Calif. It. Studies, 1 (2010), pp.1-16.
Arithmologia sive de abditis Numerorum mysterijs qua origo, antiquitas & fabrica numerorum exponitur. Denique post Cabalistarum, Arabum, Gnosticorum, aliorumque magica impietates detectas?KIRCHER, Athanasius Quarto (230 x 165 mm), [16 (including frontispiece)], 301,  pages, 3 folding printed tables (one in red and black), full-page woodcut arms of dedicatee on verso of title-page, woodcut initials, tailpieces and illustrations. Binding: contemporary Italian limp vellum. Some leaves browned, two old repairs to frontespice and title-page; a good copy. Only edition of one of the few works devoted to the cabalistic and alchemic proprieties of numbers. ?The Arithmologia one of Kircher's more curious works, is a veritable gold mine of curiosities: magic formulas, amulets, and simboli matrices. For Kircher all knowledge was to some extent bound up in mystery, and this was particurarly true of numerology. The mystical nature of numbers had been the object of volumes of both Hebraic and Greek treatises, from Pythagoras to the Cabbala, since antiquity. Kircher did not accept the mysticism uncritically, however. Indeed, much of the work is dedicated to discrediting common superstitions about numbers. He begins the book with a speculative history of the origin of Greek and Roman numerals; he later gives the history of Hebrew and Arabic numerals. Much of the work deals with the alleged mystical numerology of the Gnostics, Cabbalists, and Newpythagoreans. Kircher is not slow to accuse these groups of superstition and paganism. For Kircher, as for most of his contemporaries, the universe was hierarchical and orderly. He was convinced that the order could be represented by numbers in a mystical and meaningful way. The works of his contemporaries Leibnitz (1646-1716) and Newton (1642-1726) resulted from this faith in mathematics and its power to circumscribe the universe. The Arithmologia, like most of Kircher's works, appears at the juncture between the mystical numerologies, handed down from antiquity, and modern mathematics. Yet the gulf between these is not without a bridge, and few modern mathematicians would reject, without pause, Kircher's (and Pythagoras') conviction that ?all creation is filled with numbers'.(Merrill).Merrill 19; Caillet II, n.5769; Sommervogel IV, 1063; Wellcome III, 395.
Vita nuoua di Dante Alighieri. Con XV canzoni del medesimo. E la vita di esso Dante scritta da Giouanni BoccaccioALIGHIERI, Dante Octavo (161 x 105 mm.), two parts in one volume: , 116,  pages; 80 pages with woodcut printer's device on both title-pages. A small spot in the white margin of the first leaves but a very good copy in XVIII century stiff vellum, with two red morocco lettering pieces on spine sligthly chipped, from the Pesaro Libray and after 1805 in the possession of Thomas Jones at Hafod, Cardiganshire.First edition, very rare.'Written between 1293 and 1294, the Vita Nuova is dedicated to Dante's ?first friend?, his primo amico, Guido Cavalcanti. The author presents it as an anthology of his early poems, framed within a prose commentary which not only guarantees narrative structure and progression, explaining and revealing the circumstances which inspired the poems, but also functions as a detailed commentary on the 31 poems selected. Structurally, the work is arranged as a diachronic prosimetron, an alternation of prose and poetry (although it seems highly likely that some of the poems were written at the time of the commentary itself), the first of its kind in Italian literature, modelled on Boethius' De consolatione Philosophiae, ascribed in Medieval times to the elegiac genre, to which, as has recently been suggested, Vita Nuova could also belong. In highly idealized and almost hagiographic terms, the narrative traces the story of Dante's love for Beatrice, whose portrayal is highly bound up with the imagery of Christ. The story, however, is based not so much on external events but relates the protagonist's spiritual renewal. His feeling of love is at first a self-centred need, as in the courtly tradition, for his devotion to be rewarded, but then evolves into detached praise for his beloved as the only kind of reward needed to satisfy his desire. The turning point, marked by Donne ch'avete intelletto d'amore, the canzone-manifesto of Dante's stilnovo, is reinforced by Beatrice's death, an almost required condition of genuine, selfless love. The book ends with the promise that he will not speak of Beatrice again, until he is able to ?write about her what has never been written of any woman? The Vita nuova is not only a story of love and spiritual renewal, but also a (highly subjective) means by which Dante takes stock of his own literary career: in other words, the outline of a dual, parallel evolution, in poetry as well as in sentiment.' (internetculturale.it) ?In the Vita Nuova, Dante?as is universally recognized?gave to the West a myth whereby the love of woman could lead to the love of God. And the arrival at the love of God no longer required the recantation of the love of woman, as it formerly had in Christian thought. By drawing an analogy between Beatrice and Christ, by terming her a ?miracle,? by allowing her to participate in the ?three-ness? of the Trinity, Dante could transmute his proper function as a lover into a forsaking of possessiveness in favor of an outpouring of praise, trusting that her virtute would lead to his salute. When he repeats the rhyme?a common one?of salvation with virtue, Dante (by his literary power) ?guarantees? their connection. The salvation of Dante-the-pilgrim has already occurred when Virgil, who has accompanied Dante through Hell and Purgatory, yields his role as guide to Beatrice. Dante hears from Beatrice, now unveiled, one of the most shining lines of reward in literature: ?Guardami ben: io son, io son, Beatrice.? (?Look on me well: I am, I truly am, Beatrice.? At the heights of Paradise, her poet speaks to her for the last time. As Longfellow pointed out, this is the only moment in the Commedia when Dante addresses her in the familiar ?tu?: ?Tu m'hai di servo tratto a libertate.? (?You have drawn me out of slavery to freedom.?) As the poet praises Beatrice for leading him to liberty, the rhymes take on their wonted?guaranteeing?: salute/vedute/virtute; bontate/libertate/potestate.The Vita Nuova has left many rhetorical and thematic legacies to Western poetry?the disturbances and vacil
Romani calendarii a Gregorio XIII. P.M. restituti Explicatio S.D.N. Clementis VIII. P.M. iussu edita.CLAVIUS, Christoph Folio (310 x 232). Arms of Clement VIII on title, letterpress tables, some with border of printer's flowers, xylographic ornaments. Some spotting, some leaves browned, a good copy with a very interesting provenance boun di eighteenth century green half morocco. Provenance: Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621, Italian Jesuit and cardinal of the Catholic Church, he was canonized a saint in 1930 and named Doctor of the Church; presentation inscription on title, ?Ill.mi Cardinali Bellarmino ex dono authoris', and a further inscription recording the book's presence in his library at a Jesuit College, Rome.Presentation copy of the first edition of Clavius's foundation work on the Gregorian calendar. This had been adopted in Catholic countries in 1582 after the proposals for reform, based on Reinhold's ?Prussian Tables', had been accepted by the Pope. Before the reform ?the Julian Calendar was naturally adopted by the successor of the Roman Empire, Christian Europe with the Papacy at its head. By about 700 CE it had become customary to count years from the starting point of the birth of Christ (later corrected by Johannes Kepler to 4 BCE). But the equinox kept slipping backwards on the calendar one full day every 130 years. By 1500 the vernal equinox fell on the 10th or 11th of March and the autumnal equinox on the 13th or 14th of September, and the situation was increasingly seen as a scandal. The most important feast day on the Christian calendar is Easter, when the suffering, death, and resurrection of Christ are celebrated. In the New Testament we find that Christ's crucifixion occurred in the week of Passover. On the Jewish calendar, Passover was celebrated at the full moon of the first month (Nissan) of spring. In developing their own calendar (4th century CE), Christians put Easter on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox. If the equinox was wrong, then Easter was celebrated on the wrong day. Most other Christian observances (e.g., the beginning of Lent, Pentecost) are reckoned backward or forward from the date of Easter. An error in the equinox thus introduced numerous errors in the entire religious calendar. Something had to be done. After the unification of the Papacy in Rome, in the fifteenth century, Popes began to consider calendar reform. After several false starts, a commission under the leadership of the Jesuit mathematician and astronomer Christoph Clavius (1537-1612) succeeded. Several technical changes were instituted having to do with the calculation of Easter, but the main change was simple. In 1582 Pope Gregory XIII (hence the name Gregorian Calendar) ordered ten days to be dropped from October, thus restoring the vernalequinox at least to an average of the 20th of March, close to what it had been at the time of the Council of Nicea. In order to correct for the loss of one day every 130 years, the new calendar dropped three leap years every 400 years. Henceforth century years were leap years only if divisible by 400. 1600 and 2000 are leap years; 1700, 1800 and 1900 are not.The new calendar, although controversial among technical astronomers, was promulgated from Rome and adopted immediately in Catholic countries. Protestant countries followed suit more slowly. Protestant regions in Germany, and the northern Netherlands adopted the calendar within decades. The English, always suspicious of Rome during this period, retained the Julian Calendar. Further, while others now began the new year uniformly on 1 January, the English began it on 25 March (an older custom). Now, for example, the date 11 February 1672 in England was 21 February 1673 on the Continent. After 1700 in which the Julian Calendar had a leap year but the Gregorian did not, the difference was eleven days. The English and their American colonies finally adopted the Gregorian Calendar in the middle of the eighteenth century. George Washington was born on 11 February on the Julian Calendar; we celebrate his birthday on 22 Febru
Commedia di Dante insieme con vno dialogo circa el sito forma et misure dello Inferno.ALIGHIERI, Dante Octavo (163 x 95 mm.),  leaves. A full page woodcut showing Dante and the three wild beasts and seven woodcut illustrations in the text. Nineteenth century vellum with gilt and colour decoration, gauffred gilt edges. Light foxing on a few leaves, last page with a small restoration in the white margin, a few pale spots. A very good copy of this rare edition. Second Florentine edition of the Comedy, very rare. ?The Aldine Dante was to become the new vulgate, but not before a final valiant attempt by the Florentines to reclaim their author with this edition of the poem, commonly referred to as the Giuntina Dante. As before in the case of Landino, the response was to come from the most authoritative level of Florentine culture. On this occasion, the text was prepared by the greatest living Florentine poet of the time, Girolamo Benivieni (1453-1542). Like most educated Florentines of his generation (including Machiavelli), Benivieni possessed a lifelong love and deep knowledge of the poem, informed by profound religious sensibilities nurtured through his association with the Florentine Neoplatonic academy and his friendship with the philosopher Giovanni Pico della Mirandola. Benivieni was also among the first intellectuals of humanistic Florence to convert to the impetuous and prophetic preaching of Girolamo Savonarola. Benivieni introduces his Dante edition with a chapter in terza rima entitled, Cantico di Ieronimo Benivieni cittadino fiorentino in laude dello eccellentissimo poeta Dante Alighieri, e della seguente Commedia da lui divinamente composta. In textual terms, the Giuntina is the most significant 16th-century edition of the poem besides the 1502 Aldine and the Crusca Academy edition of 1595. Benivieni evidently took great care with the text (for the non-Tuscans had again raised the stakes) and on many occasions improves upon the Aldine text, preferring readings which have since proved authoritative. Nevertheless, Benivieni based his correction of the text upon the 1502 Aldine, and it is significant that the 1506 Giuntina was to be the last complete imprint of the poem to appear in Florence during the 16th century, until the Crusca Academy edition of 1595. Dante had meanwhile become an ?Italian' classic. And the process by which the Florentine poet became an Italian classic during the 16th century roughly parallels the one by which the essentially Florentine language of the 14th-century Florentine classics, Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio, became the national literary language of all Italy during the same period.? (Renaissance Dante in print, 1472-1629. University of Notre Dame; The Newberry Library and the University of Chicago). Very rare, only five copies sold at auction in the last fifty years. Mambelli 20; Gamba 386; Sander 2317.
Decachordum Christianum.VIGERIUS, Marcus Folio (303 x 206mm), 270 leaves with the blank leaf aaa8. Author's coat-of-arms on title within woodcut border signed by F.V., 10 full-page cuts, probably metal (Mortimer), the one of the Nativity signed "L" and the Pentecost also signed "F.V.", within one of two repeated woodcut borders, 33 smaller cuts from 27 blocks illustrating the life of Christ, all but two in criblé style. Title with light soiling, re-hinged and re-margined at top, some scattered minor spotting and toning. Later vellum, gilt-lettered spine label. A good copy. First edition of the finest and most beautiful book produced by the Soncino at Fano and the first book printed there. ?At the instance of his grat-uncle Pope Sixtus IV (Francesco della Rovere), Vigerius entered the Franciscan order, and rapidly rose to power, becoming bishop of Senigallia in 1476, protector of the order, and ultimately cardinal in 1506. An accomplished humanist, Vigerius resumed his studies in 1506, completing the Dechacordum Christianum, a work of ascetic piety for which two Franciscans, Guido de Sancto Leone and Francesco Armillino were employed as correctors of the text. The work treats the mystery of Christ's Incarnation with episodes from his life, beginning with the Annunciaton and concluding with the Ascension'. (The Collection of Otto Schäfer. Part I: Italian Books. Sotheby's New York, 1994). The book is famous for its beautiful illustrations, ?the Soncino Nativity block was used by Luc'Antonio Giunta in his 1511 Bible, and then copied by Saccon at Lyon in a Bible printed for Koberger in 1516. The Annunciation cut appeared in Palermo in 1515, in the Pastas' editon of Giovanni Giacomo Adria's De laudibus virtutis. In the 1517 Hagenau reprint, Hans Schäufelein of Hagenau omitted the small Passion cut and made ten new cuts based on those of Soncino. Because of the presence of the initials FV in the borders and on the base on those of the arch in the Pentecost scene, attribution of both the cuts and the borders to Florio Vavassore persists. However the imprint of the Dechacordum Christianum predates Vavassore's period of activity. Similarly Kristeller's analysis of Luc'Antonio degli Uberti (Early Florentine Woodcuts, xl-xlv) has disproved the link of the initial L in the Nativity cut with that artist. However, on the basis of style, the cuts continue to be generally associated with Venetian Missal illustrations and with the school of Giovanni Bellini. The Soncinos, a Jewish family of itinerant printers, were perhaps the most important Hebrew printers of the 15th century. In reflection of a series of religious persecutions and bans, Girolamo (Gershon ben Moses) worked successively in Soncino, Brescia, Barco, Fano, Pesaro, Ortona, Rimini, Cesena and Saloniki. He was the ultimate peripatetic printer of his generation, and everywhere he set down he produced books of unusual interest. Girolamo's longest settlement was in Fano, where he established that city's first press in 1502, and remained until 1507. The main activity of the press was then transferred to Pesaro, and Soncino returned to Fano only briefly from 1515 to 1517. However, three books with the Fano imprint dated 1507 and 1508, including the Decachordum, coincide so closely with several Pesaro imprints as to make it appear that Soncino for a time maintained shops in both towns. Shortly after the press was established at Fano, Soncino engaged the services of Francesco Griffo, who cut the italic type for his 1503 edition of Petrarch's Opere volgari; in the dedication of that work Soncino Griffo with having both designed and cut all of Aldus Manutius's typefaces. The corpus of the press comprises over 150 works in Latin, Hebrew and Italian, buti t is the Vigerius that stands out as Soncino's masterpiece, both for the beauty of the prints and the excellence of the typography'. (The Collection of Otto Schäfer. Part I: Italian Books. Sotheby's New York, 1994). Adams V-746; Sander 7589; Essling I: 145; Mortimer 537.
Le imprese illustri con espositioni, et discorsi del s.or Ieronimo RuscelliRUSCELLI, Gerolamo. Quarto (262 x 190 mm.), three parts in one volume:  212  213-231  233-240  241-443 [i.e. 344] 345-352  353-398  401-566  pp. With 3 engraved titles, a full page portrait of Ruscelli engraved by Niccolò Nelli dated 1566, 5 double-page engraved plates, 15 full-page engraved plates, 114 engraved vignettes, numerous woodcut initials, woodcut printer's device at end. A few spots, scattered foxing, light browing here and there; a very good copy in early eighteenth century stiff vellum, manuscript title on spine. Provenance: De Marinis ´pencil note); Arrigo Castellani (ex libris).First edition of the first emblem book illustrated with engravings, one of the finest emblem books of the XVI century. ?Sixteenth-century imprese have been identified as an expression of early modern individuality. Paolo Giovio, the first author who composed a treatise dedicated entirely to imprese considered them ?personal devices, relating to some aspects of the bearer's personality and virtue? a description which ?fits easily both into [Giovio's] own historical focus on individual and in the courtly environment of flattery and praise? (Caldwell). Indeed, Giovio considered the impresa analogous to a portrait. Following Giovio's assimilation of the impresa to a portrait Alan Young defines the device as a ?self-portrait, a projection of the self in terms of personal terms and goals, private principles, feelings and state of minds? Dorigen Caldwell argues that sixteenth-century imprese expressed one's individuality within the context of courts, accademie and the humanistic centres in which their creators lived and operated [?] and that the impresa was an expression of both individuality - of the innermost thoughts and feelings, the intellectual personality of sixteenth-century Italian men and women ? and of the courtly, academic, humanistic and vernacular culture in which the lived. The performative nature of the impresa implied a public that perceived the images and words of the device as metonymies for the individual's noblest virtues. The carriers of the impresa chose and organized (or has someone organize for them) the qualities that would make them noble and unique through the structure of the impresa. Members of the Italian accademie which burgeoned in the second half of sixteenth-century counted among their members intellectuals, professors and noblemen. They were the authors of the imprese which they created for their accademie and for themseves. These imprese ? gave the members [?] a sense of belonging while simultaneously excluding outsiders? (Caldwell). By looking at a specific impresa the audience ? either a group of people such as the member of an accademia or simply another person, distinct from the subject of the device ? interpreted the device and made assumptions about the subject's individuality. [?] Gerolamo Ruscelli was born in Viterbo at the beginning of the sixteenth-century and died in Venice in 1566. He lived in Rome until 1548, before moving to Venice, where he played an important role in the printing industry. While in Rome, in 1541, he founded the Accademia dello Sdegno together with Tommaso Spica and Giovanni Andrea dell'Anguillara. He edited the works of Boccaccio, Petrarch and Ariosto and translated Claudius Ptolomaeus's treatise on geography. While in Venice he had contacts with other academies ? della Fratta, dei Dubbiosi, della Veniera and della Fama ? and was interested in issues such as the systematization of Italian language and imprese, which were commonly debated in the academies. In 1556, he edited Giovio's Dialogo and included in this edition his Discorso on imprese. In 1566, the year he died, Francesco Rampazzetto printed his treatise Le imprese illustri in Venice. In the dedicatory letter to the ?Catholic King Philip II of Spain', Ruscelli declares that his goal in writing this treatis was to produce a text that could live ?eternally in the eyes, ears, tongues, souls and memory of every t
Historia naturale di C. Plinio Secondo di latino in volgare tradotta per Christophoro Landino, nuouamente in molti luoghi, doue quella mancaua, supplito, & da infiniti errori emendata, & con somma diligenza corretta, con la tauola similmente castigata, & aggiuntoui molti capitoli, che nelle altre impressioni non erano. Aggiontoui anchora di nuouo la sua vita?PLINIUS Octavo (207x151 mm),  p., DCCCXI p.,  p., 3 woodcut printer's devices and historiated initials at the beginning of each book. Contemporary Venetian black morocco over pasteboard, panels on side in gilt and blind with central roundel, ?Venetian apple? tools on corners, spine with alternating single and double bands, compartments tooled in blind, black edges. Extremities of binding slightly rubbed, but a very fine copy in its first binding.GBP 5,000 A rare XV century Venetian reprint of the famous 1476 vernacular translation of Pliny's Naturalis Historia by the Florentine humanist Cristoforo Landino (1424-1498), provided with Landino's prefatory letter to Ferdinand of Aragon, King of Naples, a biography of the author, and a rich index. This edition is one out of the only 16 published in Venice by the typographer Thomas Ballarinus between 1531 and 1535.The 1476 Pliny, a masterpiece of typographic design, was an editorial venture by Girolamo Strozzi, a member of the renowned powerful Florentine banking family, and was printed with Nicolas Jenson's influential Roman types; as a direct consequence, Landino's translation, itself a commission by king Ferdinando of Aragona, enjoyed a great and lasting fortune throughout the first half of the century following its first appearance, and was continually reprinted (only to be replaced by 1543 Antonio Brucioli's and 1561 Lodovico Domenichi's vulgarizations). Pliny the Elder's work is a thirty-seven-book encyclopaedia of all the knowledge of the ancient world, collected on the basis of a wide selection of readings. Dealing with a myriad of aspects of human life such geography, geology, mineralogy, mathematics, physics, astronomy, medicine, history of art, sculpture, painting, letters, folklore., it represented a fundamental authority for Medieval and Renaissance culture, and still today remains an irreplaceable source of information for the most different fields of Classical studies. CNCE 30409
Ritratti de ser.mi Principi D?Este sig.ri di Ferrara con l?aggionta de loro fatti più memorabili ridotti in sommario.CARIOLA, Antonio; DOINO, Caterino Quarto (214 x 160 mm.); 28 unumbered leves comprising an engraved title-page and 13 full page engravings. A couple of leaves reinforced in the gutter, a small wormtrack in the inner white margin of four leaves just touching the engraving border overall a good copy in contemporary boards from the library of Richard Wood (ex libris) and Bibliotheca Hebrziana. GBP 7,000 A lavishly illustrated work on the history of the Este, rulers of Ferrara. Dedicated to the Duke of Modena, it comprises 14 copperplates, each portraying two princes of Ferrara, accompanied by biographical sections written by the historian Antonio Cariola.In the preface, the engraver and publisher Caterino Doino (fl.16th/17th century) explains that this celebratory work was undertaken in old age. Inspirational was F. Berni's poem Degli Eroi della Serenissima Casa d'Este (1640), illustrated with five portraits (Almerico, Tedaldo I, Bonifacio III, Matilda and Azzo VIII). To these Doino added, in his Ritratti, Guglielmo Adelardi, Marchesella Adelardi, Aldovrandino II, Azzo IX, Obizzo IV, Azzo X, Francesco I, Azzo XI, Rinaldo III, Obizzo VII, Aldovrandino IV, Niccolò Zoppo II, Alberto V, Niccolò III, Lionello I, Borso I, Ercole I, Alfonso I, Ercole II, Alfonso II and Cesare I.The plates are considered a second issue of Doino's own Imagini de' prencipi d'Este (1640), a suite of prints, differing only in the revised numeration, without the historical text. Though traditionally attributed to Doino, they are now believed to be the work of the Ferrara artist Giuseppe Caletti (DBI). All portraits were loosely based on Faccini's frescoes in the Castle of Ferrara. ?That these engravings are related to the frescoes at Ferrara is proven by the fact that the first print portraying Almerico and Tedaldo, the first and second marquises of Ferrara, resembles very closely the faded remains of the lower right panel still extant on the Castle' (Coffin, 167).?It is remarkable that Doino printed this work entirely at his expense, most likely incurring into substantial debt. This is probably why it is very scarce' (Clement VI, 287). Bartsch ill., 44, p. 351-63; Cicognara 2021. LC, Princeton, Getty, Frick and NYPL copies recorded in the US. D.R. Coffin, ?Pirro Ligorio and Decoration of the Late 16th Century at Ferrara', The Art Bulletin, 37 (1955), 167-85; M. Sframeli, ?Doino, Caterino', Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani 40 (1991); D. Clement, Bibliothèque curieuse historique et critique (1756).
Commedia di Dante insieme con vno dialogo circa el sito forma et misure dello Inferno.Octavo (163 x 95 mm.),  leaves. A full page woodcut showing Dante and the three wild beasts and seven woodcut illustrations in the text. Nineteenth century vellum with gilt and colour decoration, gauffred gilt edges. Light foxing on a few leaves, last page with a small restoration in the white margin, a few pale spots. A very good copy of this rare edition. Second Florentine edition of the Comedy, very rare. ?The Aldine Dante was to become the new vulgate, but not before a final valiant attempt by the Florentines to reclaim their author with this edition of the poem, commonly referred to as the Giuntina Dante. As before in the case of Landino, the response was to come from the most authoritative level of Florentine culture. On this occasion, the text was prepared by the greatest living Florentine poet of the time, Girolamo Benivieni (1453-1542). Like most educated Florentines of his generation (including Machiavelli), Benivieni possessed a lifelong love and deep knowledge of the poem, informed by profound religious sensibilities nurtured through his association with the Florentine Neoplatonic academy and his friendship with the philosopher Giovanni Pico della Mirandola. Benivieni was also among the first intellectuals of humanistic Florence to convert to the impetuous and prophetic preaching of Girolamo Savonarola. Benivieni introduces his Dante edition with a chapter in terza rima entitled, Cantico di Ieronimo Benivieni cittadino fiorentino in laude dello eccellentissimo poeta Dante Alighieri, e della seguente Commedia da lui divinamente composta. In textual terms, the Giuntina is the most significant 16th-century edition of the poem besides the 1502 Aldine and the Crusca Academy edition of 1595. Benivieni evidently took great care with the text (for the non-Tuscans had again raised the stakes) and on many occasions improves upon the Aldine text, preferring readings which have since proved authoritative. Nevertheless, Benivieni based his correction of the text upon the 1502 Aldine, and it is significant that the 1506 Giuntina was to be the last complete imprint of the poem to appear in Florence during the 16th century, until the Crusca Academy edition of 1595. Dante had meanwhile become an ?Italian' classic. And the process by which the Florentine poet became an Italian classic during the 16th century roughly parallels the one by which the essentially Florentine language of the 14th-century Florentine classics, Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio, became the national literary language of all Italy during the same period.? (Renaissance Dante in print, 1472-1629. University of Notre Dame; The Newberry Library and the University of Chicago). Very rare, only five copies sold at auction in the last fifty years. Mambelli 20; Gamba 386; Sander 2317.
De Italicarum rerum varietate, et elegantia, libri XSacco Bernardo Small quarto (198x138 mm.),  l., 287 pages, printer's device on title page. Modern binding of old limp vellum, a few waterstains in the lower white margin of the second half of the volume. A good copy from the library of H. Cavendish.Second edition of Bernardo Sacco's major work (first 1565), a milestone of Pavia's local history, whose significance has only in recent years been fully appreciated by the scientific community.
Disegno di lezioni e di ricerche sulla lingua ebraica,Mussi Antonio Octavo (189x106 mm.),  l., 219 pages,  p. One illustration on title page. XIX century half vellum.Very rare edition of the inaugural lecture delivered in March 1792 at the University of Pavia by Antonio Mussi, Professor of Dogmatic Theology and Hebrew, provided with a Latin and Italian translation and a commentary on Moses' canticle.
Compendio della vita, e delle gesta di Giuseppe Balsamo denominato il Conte Cagliostro[Cagliostro] Octavo (189x106 mm.), 189 pages, added the papal edict of Benedictus XIV quoted within the text. Printer's paper boards.First edition of this biography of the famous alchemist Giuseppe Balsamo, commonly known as Count Cagliostro, written by the secretary of the judging congregation of the Holy Office which in 1791 sentenced Cagliostro to life imprisonment. This work, provided with an illustrated copy of an edict of Pope Benedictus XIV quoted in the trial, was intended as a sort of justification of the trial itself before European public opinion; notwithstanding, it nowadays represents a fundamental source on Balsamo's life.
Dell’arte dei giardini inglesiSilva, Ercole Quarto (261x208 mm.),  l., 373 pages,  l. 6 folding plates and 30 illustrations in the text. Half calf of the XIX century. A good copy.First edition of this fundamental work on the English-style garden, which laid the bases for the formation of many private and public landscape gardens in Nineteenth-century Italy. Count Ercole Silva, himself a landscape-architect, designed and used as an example the garden of his own villa in Cinisello, near Milan; he also provided his text with precious engraved plates and illustrations representing some other Lombard villas. A few years after its publication, this work inspired a passage of Ugo Foscolo's Sepolcri (vv. 130-132: "Pietosa insania, che fa cari gli orti / de' suburbani avelli alle britanne / vergini").
Scripta quae nunc extant omnia [Greek]Isocrates Octavo (190x115 mm.),  l., 1033 p.,  l. Contemporary South German pigskin over wooden boards binding, traces of metal clasps; title-page lightly dust soiling. A very good copy.Complete edition of Isocrates' works in Greek, with facing Latin translation, realized by the German humanist Hieronymus Wolf (1516-1580). The edition is provided with a rich commentary by Wolf himself, as well as biographical notices on Isocrates, based on the works of Dionysius of Halikarnassos, Plutarch, and Philostratos.
LettereContile, Luca. 2 vol. in octavo (150x97 mm.),  l., 128 l.;  l., 129-480 l. XVIII century stiff vellum with red morocco lettering pieces. A good copy with two ancient restorations in the white margins.First edition of this very important corpus epistularum, a fundamental source for the history of cultural relationships in Sixteenth-century Italy.
Opisanie v litsakh torzhestva, proiskhodivshego v 1626 godu fevralia 5, pri brakosochetanii gosudaria tsaria i velikogo kniazia Mikhaila Feodorovicha, s gosudaryneiu tsaritseiu Evdokiei Luk’ianovnoi iz roda Streshnenykh.BEKETOV, Platon Quarto ( 290 x 209 mm.), 138 pages with 65 engraved plates all hand coloured. Late XIX century half leather, spine in compartments with black morocco lettering piece. A couple of pale spots but a very fine copy. The scarce first and only edition ? ?rarely seen on the market' (Gennadi) ? of this handsomely illustrated account of the wedding of Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich (1596-1645), the first of the House of Romanov, and Empress Evdokia (d.1645), which took place in 1626. Copies with 65 engraved plates are uncommon, most only including 63 or 64, and few are hand-coloured, as here. Each plate reproduces scenes after an original 17th-century manuscript, which, as the preface states, was donated to the library of the State Collegium of Foreign Affairs of the Moscow Archive by the famous scholar A.M. Malinovsky. The editor and publisher, Platon Petrovich Beketov (1761-1836), was a scholar, bibliophile and head of the Society for the History and Antiquities of Russia. He hoped that Opisanie would be agreeable ?to all those who love Russian antiquity', especially this period of ?resurrection' when ?Russia shook off the foreign yoke'. Indeed, Mikhail's accession in 1613 marked the beginning of Russian expansion and the end of the Time of Troubles, a period of wars, famines and the occupation of Russia by the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which had begun in 1598, with the death of Fyodor I. Each plate is accompanied by a short description, printed on the facing page, and depicts a scene from the wedding ceremony. The first shows Mikhail consulting with Patriarch Filaret and with his mother, the nun Martha, concerning his marriage. The last shows the married couple sitting one the right and left respectively, listening to Protopop Maxim talk about the Sacred Scriptures. The remainder show outdoor and indoor scenes ? which also provide charming, though a bit stylised, depictions of early 17th-century Moscow ? including Mikhail's procession from the Golden Chamber to Evdokia's palace, or meetings between the Tsar and other aristocratic or political figures. A very handsome work. Kansas (64 pls, 1 hand-coloured), Columbia, Yale (imperfect), Connecticut, Illinois, Cornell, Getty (65 pls, hand-coloured), NYPL (65 pls. hand-coloured) and Harvard copies recorded in the US. Only BL in the UK. SK 1801-1825, n.6072; Ostroglazov n.218, Ber.-Shir. pp.36-7: ?very rare'; Obol'ianinov n.1885; Vereshchagin n.615; Sm.-Sok. n.522; Fekula n.1699 (now at NYPL); Gennadi n.113.
Disegni del Mantegna.NOVELLI, Francesco Folio (386 x 277 mm.), engraved title-page with the bust of Mantegna on a pedestral, engraved dedication printed on two leaves anf fourty-four engraved plates. Contemporary half calf, gilt spine in compartments with red morocco lettering-piece. Spine very lightly rubbed, overall very fine. ?A rare suite of prints reproducing drawings of putti playing of fighting, all'antica heads, and studies of the Virgin and Child, once attributed to Andrea Mantegna, now recognized as works of Marco Zoppo (1432/3-1478). The prints are dedicated by the printmaker Francesco Novelli to Giambattista de Rubeis, and all but the last two reproduce drawings executed in pen and ink and wash on vellum in an album that De Rubeis had given to the printmaker's father, the Venetian painter Pietro Antonio Novelli. The album passed subsequently through the hands of Samuel Woodburn, Sir Alexander Barker, Baron Mayer de Rothschild, to Archibald Philip Primrose, fifth Earl of Rosebery (1847-1929), who in 1920 presented it to the British Museum. The function of the album has been much debated, with some reading ita s apattern book, others as an adjunct to a literary text ? perhaps Petrarch's De viris illustribus ? or as a luxury picture book commissioned by a patron in Venice or Padua; its date, too, is uncertain, with arguments ranging from the mid-1460s. The elusive meaning of some of the drawings and discret homosexual imagery in others "suggest a commission where the patron had a hand in providing some of the subject matter, the significance of which may have been understood only by a small circle of friends" (Chapman, Padua in the 1450s: Marco Zoppo and his contemporaries, exhibition catalogue by Hugo Chapman, British Museum, Departments of Prints and Drawings, London 1998, pp.38, 40) [?] In the dedicatory letter, Novelli recounts the discovery of the album in 1765 in Padua by Giambattista de Rubeis (1743-1819), a painter and a dilettante from Udine. He tells us that various experts of Padua, recognizing ita s an important work of art derived from Squarcione, decided that the drawings must be by his most illustrious pupil, Mantegna, basing this attribution on a resenblance, in their opinion, to the so-called Tarocchi del Mantegna. In the letter, Novelli attemps to support the attribution, by finding affinities with the Triumphs of Caesar and other authentic works of Mantegna. The album consists of twenty-six vellum leaves, of which twenty-four are drawn on both sides and two are blank on one side, so the total number of drawings is fifty. Novelli's plan was to engrave all fifty drawings and issue his prints serialy, in group of eight, to subrcribers. [?] In a letter of December 1796 to Abate Mauro Boni, Novelli writes that he had become apprehnsive about publishing prints of two drawings, because he considered them licentious, and thus likely to lose his subscribers, as incorrect in drawing. We learn from another letter that Francesco Novelli had acquired from Abate Pietro Bini, sometime before 27 May 1796, a double-sided drawing (on paper) showing eight studies of the Virgin and Child in a variety of pose. Novelli belived this sheet to be also by Mantegna ? despite receiving from the Venetian connosseur Giovanni Maria Sasso the correct attribution to Zoppo ? and he etched both sides as substitute for two rami licenziosi recording the different provenance directly on the plates: Il disegno fu regalato all'incisore dall'Egregio Pittore Sigr. Abre. Pietro Bini. [?] The project was brought to a close in 1799, [?]. In an undated Avviso [in our copy pasted onto the front pastedawn], Novelli explained that the work would terminate with forty-four prints, however the two prints of the Virgin anc Child (each with four studies) would be counted as eight, thereby fulfilling his promise to supply 50 disegni originali di Andrea Mantegna. The majority of surviving copies are comprised of forty-seven or forty-eight prints: the title-print (often supplied in two ver
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