21 November 2012
PASQUILLUS (attributed to). Carmina Apposita Pasquillo. [Rome: J. Besicken? or Etienne Guillery and Ercole Nani?] 1513.
4° (206 x 132mm). Large woodcut of Apollo on title. (Title-page on guard.) Early 20th-century English purple crushed morocco gilt, top edge gilt (minor scratches on lower cover).
A rare pasquinade, a prototype of satire, here celebrating the election of the humanist Giovanni di Lorenzo de Medici as Pope Leo X and anticipating his patronage of arts, literature and humanism. The verse form derives from the name Pasquillus given to a classical statue unearthed in 1501 and erected by Cardinal Carafa in the Piazza Navona in Rome. A tradition quickly sprang up of declaiming satiric verse in front of the statue on the feast of St. Mark (25 April) and affixing copies to it; in addition, each year the statue was dressed as a different pagan god. The verses began to be printed in 1509, often illustrated with a woodcut of the statue in its guise for that year, and with the arms of the cardinal who was patron of that year's festival. Another, shorter pasquinade was also printed in 1513. All early pasquinades are rare, and no other early pasquinade has been offered at auction in over 35 years. Brunet IV, 411; EDIT 16 CNCE 9610; Sander 5446.
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