6 December 2013
SERLIO, Sebastiano (1475-1554). Il terzo libro... nel qual si figurano, e descrivono le antiquita di Roma, e le altre che sono in Italia, e fuori d'Italia. Venice: Francesco Marcolini, 1540.
2o (350 x 245 mm). Title set within a cartouche held by putti above a large woodcut of antique ruins, 120 woodcut illustrations (32 full-page, 4 double page), initials and colophon leaf. (Some staining, lower corner bummped). 19th-century pink stained vellum binding using presumably an 18th-century French legal document (some dust soiling and light staining). Provenance: Jan Zarnowski (bookplate); Franklin H. Kissner (his sale, Christie's London, 3 October 1990, lot 419).
FIRST EDITION. "The first genuine advance in architectural illustration seems to have been made by Serlio, and his Libro Terzo set the type of architectural illustration in Italy for the rest of the century" (Fowler). "Serlio was the first to publish a book on architecture in which the illustrations assumed primary importance" (Mortimer). Il terzo libro features antique and renaissance buildings in Rome and Italy. The woodcuts illustrate palaces, temples, baths, amphitheaters, and other structures, including the Pantheon and the Coloseum in Rome. Berlin Kat. 2560; Fowler 308; Mortimer/Harvard Italian 472.
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