CORIO, Bernardino. Historia continente da lorigine di Milano tutti li gesti, fatti, e detti preclari. Milan: Alessandro Minuziano, for the Legnano brothers, 15 July 1503 [preliminaries ca. 1520].
2° (390 x 270mm). Roman type. Woodcut title border in 4 parts with Legnano devices, full-page woodcut of Virtue on v, full-page woodcut author portrait on v (repeated on aa1v), woodcut Corio device on ff3r, FINELY ILLUMINATED by an 18th-century hand, possibly by the Brescia artist Giuseppe Pirovani, comprising, 10 historiated initials in gold and colours with extensions, the Visconti arms added in gold and colours below dedication, 2 original drawings in black chalk and bodycolours as tailpieces, that on X8r a view of a fortified castle, and that below the colophon a classical warrior against an architectural background. (Some light browning, occasional light staining, a few marginal annotations and pointing hands washed.) 18th-century calf, spine gilt-tooled in compartments, marbled pastedowns, gilt edges (restored, leather at spine ends discreetly renewed). Provenance: Pirovani heirs; (title stamp 'haereditis Pirovanae'); small unidentified armorial blindstamp; Walter Ashburner (1864-1936, inscription dated Florence 1911, rubberstamps, not in 1938 Hoepli sale).
FIRST EDITION, second issue. This reissue by the Legnano brothers adds a preliminary quire to the original issue of 1503, containing a new title, an address to the reader and index. Corio (1459-?1519) began his history of Milan around 1485, initially with the support of Ludocivo Sforza ("il Moro"), who actively desired the Sforza claim to Milan to be justified and its deeds embellished. However, by the time the history was completed and published in 1503, Ludovico had been captured by the French, and both he and his predecessor, Galeazzo Maria, could be quite openly criticised by Corio (see G. Ianziti, Humanistic Historiography under the Sforzas, 1988). The two fine full-page woodcuts of Virtue and of the author were cut for this work. Kristeller assigned them to the Melchiorre master, influenced perhaps by Leonardo da Vinci (cf. Mortimer). Adams C-2632; Brunet II, 273; de Marinis Livres à figures italiens 226; Mortimer, Harvard Italian 138; Sander 2170.