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VITRUVIUS Pollio, Marcus (c.70-15 B.C.). [De architectura libri decem.] Edited by Fra Giovanni Giocondo (1433-1515). Venice: Giovanni Tacuino, 22 May 1511.
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VITRUVIUS Pollio, Marcus (c.70-15 B.C.). [De architectura libri decem.] Edited by Fra Giovanni Giocondo (1433-1515). Venice: Giovanni Tacuino, 22 May 1511.

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VITRUVIUS Pollio, Marcus (c.70-15 B.C.). [De architectura libri decem.] Edited by Fra Giovanni Giocondo (1433-1515). Venice: Giovanni Tacuino, 22 May 1511.

The first illustrated edition of the only architectural treatise to survive from classical antiquity, considered the supreme authority by Italian Renaissance architects and the single most influential work for the later development of European architecture.

Folio (301 x 205mm). Four-piece woodcut title-border with dolphins, woodcut orb and cross device, outline initials within a double frame, 136 woodcut illustrations and diagrams most within a double frame. Modern vellum with stork device on upper cover and A.M. initials on spine, gilt borders and devices, red speckled edges. Provenance: Johannes Jacobus Calandar (ownership inscription and neat annotations) — Count Alessandro Magnaguti, Mantua (1887-1966; binding).


The previous three editions contain diagrams only, making this the first to include non-schematic illustrations. The woodcuts depict ornaments, plans, elevations, proportions of the human body, heating systems, machinery, a ship with an odometer and siege machines, among other subjects. The title border with dolphins is itself 'one of the most influential pieces of ornamentation of the sixteenth century' (Mortimer). The 1511 edition is also the first to be edited by Fra Giocondo, a working architect, as well as an editor for the Aldine Press and an authority on classical inscriptions. Adams V-902; Fowler 393; Berlin Kat. 1798; Sander 7694; Millard Italian 156; Mortimer Harvard Italian 543; Cicognara 696; RIBA 3491; cf. PMM 26.
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