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    Sale 7590

    Valuable Manuscripts and Printed Books

    4 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 204

    VITRUVIUS POLLIO, Marcus. De architectura libri dece. Translated by Cesare Cesariano (1475-1543). Commentary by Cesariano, Benedetto Giovio, and Bono Mauro. Como: Gottardo da Ponte for Agostino Gallo and Aloisio Pirovano, 15 July 1521.

    Price Realised  

    VITRUVIUS POLLIO, Marcus. De architectura libri dece. Translated by Cesare Cesariano (1475-1543). Commentary by Cesariano, Benedetto Giovio, and Bono Mauro. Como: Gottardo da Ponte for Agostino Gallo and Aloisio Pirovano, 15 July 1521.

    2° (398 x 272mm). Collation: [\Kp\k8]; A-Z8. Roman type, a few words in Greek, text with commentary surround. 176 leaves. 117 woodcuts, of which 10 full-page, printer's woodcut device on title and smaller device in the colophon. (Some worming primarily in the first and last gatherings, some of which repaired in a few margins and some leaves, title soiled and becoming loose, occasional browning, occasional light mostly marginal soiling.) Early 19th-century half calf, spine gilt in compartments (spine worn, front joint starting, sides scuffed, extremities worn). Provenance: early title inscription, a few pen trials, anatomical plates censored in ink -- G.P. Boyce (signature dated 1873 on front endpaper) -- W. Gedney Beatty (1869-1941, American architect; gifted to:) -- The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Department of Prints (bookplate recording the bequest, cancelled).

    THE COMO VITRUVIUS -- THE FIRST EDITION IN A MODERN LANGUAGE, AND ONE OF THE FINEST ILLUSTRATED BOOKS OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE. The fine illustrations, of which many were cut by Cesariano himself, clearly show the influence of Leonardo da Vinci, and Kristeller believed them to have been in fact the work of one of his pupils. Although some of the woodcuts follow the classical models of the previous editions, others show water-wheels and various mechanical devices. The three full-page cuts of the cathedral of Milan are apparently the first precisely measured illustrations of Gothic architecture in a printed book. This copy with the uncorrected state of the heading ('tuta lopera') on the final leaf. Adams V-914; Berlin Kat 1802; Cicognara 698; Dibner Heralds 170; Dyson Perrins 232; Fowler 395; Mortimer Italian 544; Paul Kristeller, Die lombardische Graphik der Renaissance (Berlin 1913) 362; Millard Italian 158; Norman 2158; Sander 7696.


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