12 June 2013
VITRUVIUS POLLIO, Marcus. De architectura libri dece. Translated by Cesare Cesariano (1475-1543). Commentary by Cesariano, Benedetto Giovio, and Bono Mauro. Como: Gottardo da Ponte for Agostino Gallo and Aloisio Pirovano, 15 July 1521.
2° (394 x 267mm). 117 woodcuts, of which 10 full-page, printer's woodcut device on title and smaller device in the colophon. (Title with deleted inscription at bottom and very short wormtracks at inner margin, the first and last few leaves lightly browned in outer corners from an earlier binding, tear in A7 neatly repaired, short repaired tear in bottom margin of last leaf, occasional light marginal spotting.) Modern vellum, spine lettered in gilt. Provenance: Philippe Desportes (1546-1606, author; title inscription) -- A. Fleury (title inscription) -- D.R. Ray, Edinburgh (title inscription).
THE FIRST EDITION IN A MODERN LANGUAGE OF THE ONLY ARCHITECTURAL TREATISE TO HAVE SURVIVED FROM ANTIQUITY. From the collection of Philippe Desportes, favourite poet of Henri III and noted bibliophile. The Como Vitruvius is one of the masterpieces of Renaissance book illustration. The plates, mostly by Cesare Cesarino, and undoubtedly influenced by Leonardo da Vinci, shpw plans and elevations of Milan Cathedral, and said to be 'the earliest authentic representations of Gothic architecture in a printed book' (Fowler). This edition is also the first edition supported by a commentary, which Cesarino interrupted after chapter 6, book IX, due to a bitter argument with his collaborators. The present copy shows the version of the errata with the correct spelling of 'tutta' in the headline. Adams V-914; Berlin Kat. 1802; Cicognara 698; Fowler 395; Mortimer, Harvard Italian 544; RIBA IV: 3519; Sander 7696.
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