London, South Kensington
2 June 2008
VITRUVIUS POLLIO, Marcus (c.80-70 B.C.- c.15 B.C.). Architettura. Vetruvio in volgar lingua, translated by Giovanni Battista Caporali (c.1475-1555). Perugia: Giano Bigazzini, 1536. 2° (285 x 204 mm). Woodcut architectural title, with title cut on the block and the portrait and coat of arms of the translator in the border, woodcut portrait of the printer on A2r, 81 woodcut illustrations in the text, including two repetitions (some light browning and staining, a few marginal repairs, M7 with short marginal tears). 19th-century sheep-backed boards (lacks spine). Provenance: Jean Maisonneuve & Fils Libraires (ink stamp). Metropolitan Museum of Art, W. Gedney Beatty bequest (book-label and duplicate stamp).
First edition of Caporali's translation, comprising the first five of the ten books of Vitruvius. The woodcuts are free copies (reduced or enlarged) of the Cesariano's Como, 1521 edition, with 8 subjects added although the woodcuts of the Milan cathedral were not copied. Caporali's translation was printed at Bigazzini's private press in Perugia with the collaboration of Caporali himself, Vittorio Muzio, the typesetter, and Jean de Ni, the typographer; it is the only work known to have been printed by Bigazzini. Cicognara 706; Fowler 400; Harvard/Mortimer Italian 546; Sander 7700.
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