RUSCONI, Giovanni Antonio (c. 1520-1587) and Marcus VITRUVIUS POLLIO (70-23BC). Della Architettura ... con centosessanta figure dissegnate ... secondo i precetti di Vitruvio. Venice: Giovanni and Giovanni Paolo Giolito de' Ferrari, 1590. 2° (283 x 195 mm). Title with woodcut allegorical border, 169 woodcut illustrations [RIBA count], some full-page [?by Rusconi] after Rusconi, woodcut head- and tailpieces and historiated initials (some light spotting and marking, blank portion of title excised and neatly repaired, small wormhole affecting [a]1-b2, neatly repaired on title). Late 18th-/early 19th-century half stained roan over marbled boards, gilt paper lettering-piece on spine (extremities lightly rubbed, corners slightly bumped, worming on joints). Provenance: occasional early annotations -- paper pressmark label on spine, manuscript pressmark on upper pastedown, trace of paper label on upper pastedown.
FIRST EDITION, second issue with 11-line errata on 2Nv. Rusconi's woodcuts were begun as early as 1553 and were intended to illustrate a full translation of Vitruvius prepared by Rusconi, which was to be published by Gabriel Giolito de' Ferrari. However, the project remained unfinished at the time of Rusconi's death in 1587, and it appears that Giolito's sons decided to publish the woodcuts, accompanied by an Italian text loosely based upon Vitruvius, in this edition in 1590. '[Della Architettura's] importance, and its appeal, lie in the illustrations, which consist of a combination of recent Vitruvian images (as seen in the earlier sixteenth-century editions) and new designs of Rusconi's invention. The quality of the cuts is high' (RIBA). Adams R960; Berlin Katalog 2602; Cicognara 640; Brunet IV, 1463 ('Edition estimée, à cause des belles gravures sur bois'); Fowler 280 (first issue); Harvard Italian 551; RIBA 2880.