DÜRER, Albrecht (1471-1528). Underweysung der messung, mit dem zirckel unn richtscheyt in Linien ebnen unnd gantzen corporen. Nuremberg: [Hieronymus Andreas Formschneider], 1525.
PROPERTY FROM A MASSACHUSETTS COLLECTOR
DÜRER, Albrecht (1471-1528). Underweysung der messung, mit dem zirckel unn richtscheyt in Linien ebnen unnd gantzen corporen. Nuremberg: [Hieronymus Andreas Formschneider], 1525.

Details
DÜRER, Albrecht (1471-1528). Underweysung der messung, mit dem zirckel unn richtscheyt in Linien ebnen unnd gantzen corporen. Nuremberg: [Hieronymus Andreas Formschneider], 1525.

2° (289 x 199 mm). 90 leaves (with final blank). Numerous woodcuts of geometrical diagrams and architectural renderings, two, on 4v and Q1r, extended with pasted-in folding slips to demonstrate a point in perspective, two figures on C5v and K1r printed on pasted-in cancel slips correcting the original figures; two half-page woodcuts showing artists using Dürer's drafting apparatus for drawing in perspective, the second with Dürer's monogram and dated 1525 (as are 2 of the triumphal column cuts); roman and gothic alphabets. (Trimmed closely touching one letter on H3, I1 and image on M6 and Q3, some minor staining.) 18th-century vellum (lacks ties, some light darkening, small repair to lower cover). Provenance: Zwiefalten, Benedictines (inscription on front paste-down dated 1743).

FIRST EDITION of Dürer's treatise on mensuration, one of the earliest mathematical works published in German. Although written after his treatise on human proportion, the Underweysung der Messung was the first of Dürer's three theoretical works on art to be published. Conceived as a practical guide to the rules of geometry and principles of perspective for artists, architects, sculptors, stonemasons and other craftsmen, the work introduced to northern Europe a system of projection that had been refined by the artists of the Italian Renaissance. In it Dürer formulated a comprehensive and mathematically sound basis for the realistic depiction of natural objects in space. "The connection of the beautiful with the natural, of the work of art with what is correct (i.e. mathematical) was a typical concept of the Renaissance. In the illustration of these principles lies the great historical importance of Dürer's theoretical writings... they were the foundation of accepted aesthetic dogma until the nineteenth century" (PMM). "Except for the Geometria Deutsch (ca. 1486-1487), a book of arithmetical rules for builders which Dürer knew and used, the Underweysung der Messung is the first mathematics book in German. With its publication Dürer could claim a place in the front ranks of Renaissance mathematicians" (DSB). Adams D-1057; Berlin Kat 4607; Bohatta Ia; Meder XXVI 1; Norman 665; PMM 54; Stillwell Science 161; Fact and Fantasy 165.

[Bound with:]

DÜRER, Albrecht. Etliche underricht, zu befestigung der Stett, Schlosz, und Flecken. Nuremberg: [Hieronymus Andreas Formschneider], October 1527.

Collation: A-B6 C8 D-E6 F4 (text and folded plates); 36 leaves, including the folding extensions form part of each quire (without G1 errata-leaf). Title with large woodcut arms of Ferdinand I, 20 woodcut illustrations or diagrams of fortifications; woodcut fraktur initials (C3 verso and D3 recto trimmed closely, a few soft creases some minor staining).

FIRST EDITION, with the rare errata leaf, and uncorrected text. This treatise on the fortification of city, castle and marketplace was a practical work, inspired by the menace of a Turkish invasion. "As well as summarizing the science of fortification it contains some of Dürer's chief architectural work... Many of his ideas were put to use..." (DSB). Two editions were printed in the same month, the first with uncorrected text and an errata leaf (as here), and the other without the errata and the errors in the text corrected. A minority of copies of this first edition contain an extra folding sheet with a monogrammed woodcut dated 1527 showing a fortress under siege (Bartsch 137, not present here). Adams D-1057 (as Part II of the Underweysung); Fairfax Murray German 151 ("second edition"); Bohatta 11a; Cockle 766; Meder XXVIII 1; Stillwell Science 835.
Sale room notice
The second work in this volume is the second corrected edition without the errata leaf, published in the same month as the first edition.
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