ARCHITECTURAL EPISTLES OF THE RENAISSANCE

Dispareri in materia d’architettura e perspettiva.

Brescia, Francesco e Pietro Maria Marchetti, 1572.

£6,500

FIRST EDITION. 4to., pp. 53, (1) plus 12 numbered plates. Roman letter, little Italic; printer’s device on title and verso of colophon, woodcut initials, foliated or historiated, 12 finely engraved architectural plans and perspective drawings; light water stain occasionally in lower margin and in upper corner of last four plates, title and couple of leaves slightly dust-soiled. A very good copy in nearly contemporary vellum, recased, early title inked on spine; early shelf mark on title.

Fine copy of a rare first edition of Renaissance architecture. Martino Bassi (1542 – 1591) was an architect involved in the restyling and construction of many Milanese churches. Dispareri, the only work written by him, consists of the correspondence he had with, i.a., Palladio, Vignola, Vasari, and Bertano concerning a personal controversy with Pellegrino di Tibaldo Pellegrini about the plans for the Duomo in Milan. Vignola, Vasari, and Palladio endorsed Bassi’s point of view. Nevertheless, Bassi was able to take over the Duomo construction site only in 1585, when Tibaldi moved to Spain.

The first four engravings show the perspective drawings of a huge marbled relief by Pellegrini, representing the annunciation of St. John the Baptist, while the remainder focuses on the parts of the Duomo under reconstruction, i.e. the crypt and the baptistry, with a final plan of the whole building. The device of Marchetti brothers, which appears on title and on the colophon verso, clearly emulates the famous anchor and dolphin logo of the Aldine press.

Rare. No recorded copy in the US.

BM STC It., 76; Adams, B371; Brunet, I, 694; Graesse, I, 308; Berlin Kat., 2600 ; Fowler, 40 ; Cicognara, 423 (‘fra i libri rari d’arte’) ; Mortimer, Italian, 46.

L2194

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