9 - 10 April 2013
BARBARO, Daniello (1513-1570). La Pratica della Perspettiva. Venice: Camillo and Rutilio Borgominieri, 1569.
2o (300 x 204 mm). Title with woodcut border enclosing first two words and woodcut printer's device, repeated on 2B6v. Italic type. 220 woodcut illustrations and diagrams [RIBA count], 23 full-page, one double-page. Woodcut head-pieces in three-dimensional geometric forms and woodcut initials. (Title slightly separated along lower gutter, some pale soiling in first quire, quire T slightly browned.) 18th-century Italian pasteboard. Provenance: acquired from Lathrop C. Harper, 1970.
FIRST EDITION OF BARBARO'S 'OPERA DOTTISSIMA E DILIGENTISSIMA' (Cicognara), second issue with the woodcut title-page and colophon dated 1569. Barbaro's treatise on perspective, intended for practicing painters, sculptors and architects, was in part compiled from the work of previous theorists on perspective, particularly Dürer's Unterweysung der Messung (published in German in 1525 and Latin in 1532). The three large landscape cuts showing theatre decors are copied from illustrations in the first quarto edition of Serlio's De architettura (Venice: 1566); other cuts, and a description of Dürer's 'instrument for drawing in perspective' (2A2r) derive from his Unterweysung, and from Barbaro's edition of Vitruvius (Venice: 1567). Among the woodcuts original to this work are a full-page cut of a new kind of measuring instrument invented by Giacomo Fusto Castriotto (2A4r), and the striking 3-dimensional head-piece ornaments. "Barbaro mentions a camera obscura fitted with a ci-convex lens. [He] introduces a novelty-the use of a diaphragm to sharpen the image. This is the first mention of a device essential in photography" (Gernsheim, History of Photography, p.22). This edition is known in a number of issues (no priority): this copy has both the title and colophon dated 1569, A2v unpaginated, and the woodcut initial 'S' on V2r depicting a swordsman on horseback. Adams B-171; Berlin Kat. 4694; Brunet I, 644; Cicognara 809; Fowler 36; Gamba 1233; Mortimer Italian 39; RIBA (1568 issue).
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On 6 and 7 of December Christie’s will offer almost 400 lots from a collection that includes works by Hals, Van Dyck, Leyster, Snyders and Jan Brueghel the Elder
Offered to benefit a new scholarship initiative from Bennington College, this work distils the unique form of abstraction for which the artist would become famous