9 February 2000
TAGLIACOZZI, Gaspare (1545-1599). De Curtorum Chirurgia per insitionem. Venice: Gasparo Bindoni the younger, 1597.
3 parts in one, 2o (324 x 219 mm). Title printed in red and black. Etched architectural frontispiece with the arms of the dedicatee, Vincenzo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, printer's large woodcut device on title, 2 woodcut illustrations on Ee5r, 22 full-page woodcuts showing surgical methods and instruments of plastic surgery. (Occasional light dampstaining, mostly marginal and heaviest on several illustrated leaves in third part, some leaves evenly browned.) Modern vellum antique; quarter morocco slipcase. Provenance: "Donato al Sig. Gianfrancesco ecc. Chirurgo dal Dottor Alessandro Viustini Avocato Discali di Novara" (inscription on title-page); "Di Achille Avogadro, Fisico Coleggiato" (inscription on lower margin of engraved title-page); D. Laigi Zangrandi (small stamp on engraved title and monogram stamp on title verso); The Wellcome Library (withdrawn stamp on title verso).
FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST BOOK EXCLUSIVELY DEVOTED TO PLASTIC SURGERY. Second issue, with the printed license on the title verso. Although Celsus and other earlier writers had discussed aspects of plastic operations, "Tagliaccozzi was the first to work toward establishing their scientific validity by publishing surgical procedures that had for generations been closely guarded secrets, and by improving these procedures in the light of the best medical knowledge of his day" (Norman). The series of 22 fine woodcuts in book III depict the instruments and progressive steps of the various
reconstructive operations through the post-operative stage.
Adams T-59; Garrison-Morton 5734; Gnudi-Webster pp. 183-216; Grolier
Medicine 23; Mortimer/Harvard Italian 488; Norman
2048 (special-paper copy and first issue).
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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
Ahead of the sale of portraits of four different muses, we focus on the women the artist came to depend on so passionately