VITRUVIUS Pollio, Marcus (fl. 27 B.C.). De architectura libri dece. Italian translation and commentary by Cesare Cesariano, with Massimo Mauro and Benedetto Giovio. Como: Paolo Gottardo da Ponte for Agostino Gallo and Aloiso Pirovano, 15 July 1521.
Royal 2° (386 x 266mm). Collation: \Kp\k8 (1r title with woodcut printer's device, 1v privileges, 2-7 index, 8r Pirovano's preface, 8v Gallo's preface), A1-Z7r De architectura, Z7r colophon, Z7v quire register and woodcut printer's device, Z8r errata and editors' note, Z8v blank). 192 leaves. 77 lines. Roman type, occasional words in Greek. 117 woodcut illustrations including one small block which is repeated, mostly by Cesarino, of which 10 are full-page, 2 woodcut printer's devices, large and small white-on-black historiated and floriated woodcut initials. (Title, final leaf and some blank margins lightly stained, small tears to title and following leaf, F7, G1 and H7 [the first two repaired], small worm-track to lower blank margin of Z5-8.) 18th-century vellum over pasteboard, gilt-lettered label on the spine (slightly soiled, label chipped). Provenance: an early reader (title inscription dated Venice 1672) -- Giannalisa Feltrinelli (bookplate, blindstamp; sold Christie's, 3 December 1997, lot 368).
THE FELTRINELLI COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION IN ITALIAN, AND THE FIRST EDITION IN ANY MODERN LANGUAGE OF THE ONLY ARCHITECTURAL TREATISE TO HAVE SURVIVED FROM ANTIQUITY. The Como Vitruvius is one of the masterpieces of Renaissance book illustration. The design of the plates, mostly by Cesare Cesarino, was undoubtedly influenced by Leonardo da Vinci. The plates showing plans and elevations of Milan Cathedral are said to be 'the earliest authentic representations of Gothic architecture in a printed book' (Fowler). This edition is also the first edition of this immensely influential text supported by a commentary, which Cesarino interrupted after chapter 6, book IX, due to a bitter argument with his collaborators. His manuscript for the later chapters has recently come to light in the Escorial. The present copy shows the earlier version of the errata with 'tuta' for 'tutta' in the headline. Adams V-914; Berlin Kat. 1802; Cicognara 698; Fowler 395; Mortimer, Harvard Italian 544; RIBA IV: 3519; Sander 7696.