VITRUVIUS POLLIO, Marcus

De architectura libri decem … adiecimus etiam … Frontini de aequeductibus … item … Nicolai Cusani Card. de staticis experimentis.

Strasbourg, Georg Messerschmidt for Knobloch, 1543.

£3,250

4to, pp. [52], 262 [i.e. 260], [52]. Italic letter, little Greek; historiated initials, numerous illustrations, mainly architectural, some full-page; light marginal dampstain in first and final gatherings, tiny clean tear to margin of first four leaves and p. 29. A very good copy in c1600 English calf with blind ruled border and gilt lined edges; title label on spine, all edges red; extremities and spine slightly rubbed; c1900 armorial bookplate of Hopetoun House and ex libris slip of Bernard E. J. Pagel (1930-2007), FRS and astrophysicist, on front pastedown; two owner’s inscriptions on front fly, one 19 September 1636 largely scribbled over, the other mid-seventeenth century by ‘Guliellmum Lythall’, with ‘pretium 68’.

First German edition of the masterpiece of ancient architecture, designed to be easily handled by an architect or scholar rather than as a huge glamourous book. Vitruvius (80-70 BC, after 15 BC ) was an architect and military engineer. While very little is known about him, his Ten Books on Architecture, dedicated to Augustus, very early acquired universal fame. The text of this edition is carefully revised by the Alsatian humanist, physician and mathematician Walther Hermann Ryff (c.1500-1548), while the illustrations are generally based on the 1521 Como edition in Italian, showing a great deal of buildings, cities, ornaments as well as civil and military machineries, such as cranes, mills, catapults and battering rams. One can also find two woodcuts depicting the perfect symmetry and proportion of human male body through the famous Vitruvian Man, which was illustrated, i.a., by Leonardo. The edition ends with the work of Frontinus (c.40-103 AD) on the aqueducts of ancient Rome and Nicholas of Cusa’s treatise on statics (1450). The latter provides methods for measuring through the use of scales and water clock; for instance, it explains in detail how to determine the humidity of air by measuring the weight of wool.

This copy reached in England by 1636 and some years later was acquired by William Lythall, likely the Beadle of the Society of the Apothecaries of London, died ca. 1657. Afterwards, it entered the famous Hopetoun library, sold in 1889 by the 7th Earl of Hopetoun (see De Ricci, English Collectors, p. 164).

BM STC Ger., 958; Adams, V 906; Berlin Kat., 1806; Cicognara, 707; Fowler, 401.

L2191

LATIN

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BASSI, Martino

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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ALBERTI, Leon Battista

THE FIRST PRINTED BOOK ON ARCHITECTURE

L’ Architettura…, tradotta in lingua fiorentina da Cosimo Bartoli gentil’huomo & accademico fiorentino. Con la aggiunta de disegni. Et altri diuersi trattati del medesimo auttore.

Mondovi, Lionardo Torrentino, 1565.

£12,500

Folio. pp. 331, (xxi). Two leaves of plates inserted. Roman letter, some Italic. Woodcut printer’s device of elephant on title, another on second title, large historiated woodcut initials, “Medallion portrait of Alberti on verso of the title. There is a similar portrait in Vasari’s 1568 Vite. Eighty-three woodcuts – diagrams, plans, elevations, architectural details, and figures demonstrating measuring instruments. Thirty-seven are full page, including six plates on three leaves, and one is double plan. The blocks are used again in the folio edition by Leonardo Torrention at Mondovi in 1565” (Mortimer I It. 12 on the first edition of 1550), two additional full page woodcuts, extensions of the upper parts of buildings, autograph ‘Di federico Ceruti’ in early hand on fly, ‘Hugh Stafford’ with price 5s? at head of title page. Very light water stain to lower margin in places, title page very fractionally dusty, rare mark or spot. A very good copy, crisp and clean with good margins, in contemporary limp vellum, yapp edges, remains of ties, stubbs from an early manuscript leaf, bands renewed, a little soiled.

A lovely copy of this most important and beautifully illustrated work, the second and more complete folio edition of Bartoli’s influential translation into Italian, with the illustrations taken from the first. “This is the first edition of L’Architectura to be issued with La Pittura.” Fowler. Alberti’s treatise on architecture was the first Renaissance work on the subject, and the first architectural work to be printed (1485). Its scope is comprehensive, ranging from the practical (including tips for lifting sculpture) to the theoretical, explicating and augmenting the classical order. His is “a complete Humanist doctrine” (Fowler) with its extensive discussion of the concept of beauty and application of humanist scholarship.

Raphael, Serlio, and Palladio were influenced by the work. As a practicing architect too Alberti exercised lasting influence; for instance, his design of the Palazzo Rucellai established the norm for palazzo facades for centuries. “His work was perhaps the most significant contribution ever made to the literature of architecture” (Krufft). Bartoli’s translation superseded Pietro Lauro’s of 1546 and became the basis of most later editions, including its translation into English. All first editions were unillustrated 1550.

“Bartoli was in the service of the Church and the Medici for the greater part of his life: his friendship with Vasari may have established his patterns of taste. His fortunate inheritance of a group of 15th-century manuscripts, among them the writings of Alberti and the Zibaldone of Buonaccorso Ghiberti, caused him to undertake one of his major enterprises – the translating of Alberti’s De re aedificatoria, which despite its fame and probably because of its profundity, was seldom published. Bartoli’s version is the first illustrated edition, and the second translation of his work. The illustrations with their emphasis on contemporary building practice, and their simple even derivative character reflect mid-century concerns on relating practice to theory. The translation would become the standard edition of Alberti’s treatise and the source of the eighteenth century Leoni folio edition.” Wiebenson I-15.

“The writer who first and most clearly rejected medieval tradition was Leon Battista Alberti (1404 – 1472), author of the De re aedificatoria. Alberti borrowed the form of the architectural treatise from Vitruvius, but could be highly critical of his model. Alberti was the more systematic of the two, and he presented architecture as an exalted pursuit, a sort of incarnate philosophy that left little room for the humble stonemasons of the Gothic. He knew the ruins of ancient Rome well, and out of the creative interplay between his archaeological and textual studies formed a more internally coherent and pristine conception of architecture than any known to antiquity. Alberti’s was only the first of a spate of architectural treatises, but no later author would espouse such grand ambitions.” Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections. ‘Cities and Men’. A lovely copy of this beautifully illustrated and important work.

PMM 28 (1485 ed.). Adams A-488.  Mortimer, Harvard Italian 12 (1550 edn.) Fowler 8.

L2106

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SOMNER, William

The antiquities of Canterbury. Or a survey of that ancient citie, with the suburbs, and cathedrall. Collected chiefly from old manuscripts, lieger-bookes, and other like records, for the most part, never as yet printed.

London, printed by I[ohn] L[egat] for Richard Thrale, and are to be sold at his shop at Pauls-Gate at the signe of the Crosse-Keyes, 1640

£1,850

FIRST EDITION. 4to. pp.[xvi], 516, [xiv], 3 fldg. plates, one a map. Roman and Italic letter, full page woodcut arms of Canterbury on verso of title, woodcut and typographical headpieces, floriated woodcut initials, engraved armorial bookplate of Henry Wheelwright Marsh on pastedown, engraved bookplate of “George Paton Custom House” on verso of epistle, autograph “W Turnbull? This book formerly in the possession of George Paton, the Scottish antiquary, was purchased at the sale of W J G Kinnear’s library in July 1835”. Light age yellowing, minor marginal spotting in places, edges browned, the odd mark or spot. A very good copy in a handsome English binding of olive morocco circa 1850, covers bordered with a triple gilt rule, large fleurons gilt at corners, arms gilt at center, spine with raised bands richly gilt in compartments, a.e.g.

A handsome copy of the first edition of Somner’s important description of the town of Canterbury and more particularly the Cathedral, finely illustrated with plates and a map. “The Antiquities of Canterbury, true to its title, deals with ‘antiquities’: it is concerned only with that which is the work of civilization, and, its subject being Canterbury, it is not a country description, but and urban description. .. while Somner takes some basic notice of architecture, he does so in order to help determine age rather than to appreciate the impression a building might make on a visitor or resident. It is only in describing his beloved Cathedral that there is some betrayal of such sentiments .. .Somner takes his readers on a veritable guided tour of Canterbury Cathedral, and we may imagine that his text, rehearsing an itinerary which he had often followed in reality, while showing the church to visitors. In touring the building, Somner endeavours to inform his readers of the period of construction of each of the component sections, the benefactor or builder, and changes that may have transpired in form or utilization.” Somner often quotes from Erasmus’ account of the Cathedral in pre-reformation times. Ironically Somner’s book was used by the fanatical puritan preacher Reverend Richard Culmer who, in 1642, bearing a copy of this work, visited the Cathedral with the mayor in order to destroy the ‘Cathedrall Idolls’. He wrote of the book that it was “a card and a compasse to sail by, in that Cathedrall Ocean of Images: by it many a Popish picture was discovered and demolished. It’s sure working by the booke: but here is the wonder, that this booke should be a means to pull down Idols, which so much advaunceth Idolatry.” William Somner worked as an ecclesiastical notary at the Cathedral.

“The Antiquities of Canterbury appeared when William was only 34 – widely welcomed but the dedication of the book to his patron Archbishop Laud proved to be unfortunate. Laud was arrested for treason the following year and beheaded four years later. This setback put paid to William’s original plans for a history of the whole county of Kent. When Cromwell’s parliamentary soldiers smashed the cathedral font in 1642, William managed to collect the pieces and hide them. Eighteen years later, with the Commonwealth period at an end, King Charles II returned to England.., and called at Canterbury ..and William was able to offer the king a copy of his history of Canterbury. In that same year, 1660, William returned the pieces of font to the cathedral, and the elaborate apparatus was re-assembled” Canterbury Historical and Archaeological Society.

STC 22918 (Variant with errata leaf at end). Lowndes VI 2442 “An excellent work” (Nicholson)

L1874

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PANSA, Muzio

Della libraria vaticana ragionamenti.

Rome, Giovanni Martinelli, 1590.

£3,950

FIRST EDITION. 4to, pp. (8), 331, (29). Roman and italic letter, little Greek; few historiated initials and vignettes, large woodcut device on title and colophon; remarkable and detailed xylographic depiction of the porticoed façade of Belvedere palace in Vatican in 1588 at 126; numerous engraved samples of Hebrew, Syriac, Coptic, Phoenician, Greek, Roman, Etruscan, Armenian, Illyrian, Gothic and Arabic alphabets at 254-318; occasional light foxing, small oilspots to 81. A very good copy in elegant seventeenth-century calf, a bit worn and cracked; gilt panels, double and triple fillet, floriated corners to the central frame; rebacked.

First edition of this important and engaging work, depicting the new location of the Vatican Library erected by Sixtus V in 1588. Muzio Pansa (1565-1628) was a physician and man of letters. He graduated in both philosophy and medicine at the Roman University and joined several erudite academies. A skilled poet, he celebrated with his pen, cardinals, sovereigns and pontiffs, especially the numerous achievements of Sixtus V (1585-1590).

His Ragionamenti offers the first printed historical account of the papal library and illustrates the ambitious iconographic programme still adorning its rooms. The latter embraces the history of human knowledge, sublimating the role played by the papacy as the sole custodian of truth and orthodox faith. Describing frescoes and statues in order of appearance, Pansa writes on the origins of the book and paper, the ecumenical councils and famous libraries of the past, as well as on the ancient alphabets and their mythical inventors, from Adam to St Cyril. At pp. 14-15, one can find an interesting account of the invention of printing in China, the later discovery by Gutenberg and the arrival in Italy of the typographers Sweynheim and Pannartz in 1465. The recent establishment of the Vatican Press is also recorded, along with other stunning private libraries of the Counter-Reformation.

BM STC It., 487; Adams, P 172; Graesse, V 121.

L1806

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LOMAZZO, Paolo

FIRST EDITION OF A SEMINAL WORK OF ART THEORY

Trattato dell’arte della pittura, scoltura, et architettura, di Gio. Paolo Lomazzo milanese pittore, diuiso in sette libri. … Con vna tauola de’ nomi de tutti li pitttori, scoltori, architetti, & matematici antichi, & moderni.

Milan, Paolo Gottardo Pontio, 1585.

£2,750

FIRST EDITION second issue. 4to. (xl), 700 (i.e. 698) (ii). (✝)⁸, (✝✝)¹² A-2V⁸, 2X⁶. Roman letter, titles in Italic. Small woodcut printer’s device on title, divisional half-title with woodcut portrait of Lomazzo in medallion on recto of B1, contemporary manuscript ex libris ‘Biblio D.D. Corroli de Pradol, epipi Monsque’ to blank margin of title, shelf mark on pastedown. Light age yellowing, the very occasional minor marginal mark. A very good, well margined copy, crisp and clean, in contemporary limp vellum, remains of ties, head of spine restored, soiled and rubbed.

First edition, second issue with a new title page, of this seminal work of art theory by the Italian painter and writer Lomazzo. “Lomazzo, the Milanese painter (1538-1600), wished to give in his theoretical writings the final and conclusive argument for the nobility of painting. By demonstrating that the painter’s primary and most important activity was intellectual, and that that his manual activity was in all cases simply an execution of ideas mentally conceived, he extended to painters the dignity hitherto enjoyed by poets and rhetoricians. By supplying rules for the seven parts of painting that he had logically deduced from careful definition, he “reduced painting to an art,” and elevated it to an academic subject. These demonstrations were to result in a single and complete treatise that covered theory, technique, and subject matter. …

Lomazzo’s publications were not motivated simply by his vanity as a painter or his ambition as a writer. During the century and a half previous to his career, enormous changes had taken place in the art of painting, which made his arguments for the higher station of painting both necessary and valid. Painters had developed techniques and rules that could be systematized and taught like those of the liberal arts, and they had increased the range and seriousness of the thematic matter of the art in a way to rival literature. The technical accomplishments of the Renaissance painters are still admired and studied in an age that abjures their employment, and the full extent of the intellectual content of Renaissance painting will remain a matter for inquiry, discovery and synthesis through many more years of iconographical studies.” Gerald Ackerman. The Art Bulletin Vol. 49, No. 4 (Dec., 1967).

“It is the summa of late Renaissance theory of art, a book Schlosser called the ‘bible of Mannerism.’ … Lomazzo’s art theory reached many readers. … Still in the sixteenth century a translation of the Trattato appeared in Oxford, “englished by Richard Haydock, student of Physick” (1598). A treatise by the English miniature painter Richard Hilliard is so closely related to the Trattato that it has been considered a paraphrase of Lomazzo’s text. Here was finally the longed-for, articulate, complete system of painting – and Lomazzo constructed a system perfectly fitting the intellectual and emotional atmosphere prevailing among the public he addressed.

His claim to providing a system rests, to begin with, on what he believes to be a complete enumeration of the constituents, or “parts” of paintings. The art of producing images consists of seven parts, and to each of them a book of the Trattato is devoted.” Moshe Barasch. ‘Theories of Art: From Plato to Winckelmann.’ The book is also full of first-hand information about Milanese artists, quoting extensively from lost sources. The seventh and final book includes a veritable dictionary of the iconography of the period. A lovely copy of this important first edition.

BM STC C16 It., p. 391. Brunet, III, 1148 ‘Estimés et peu communs’. Comolli, A. Bib. storico-critica dell’architettura civile, I, p. 18-24. Fowler, 186. Cicognara 159-161. Berlin Kat 4612

L1462

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DE L’ORME, Philibert

BEAUTIFULLY PRINTED AND ILLUSTRATED TREATISE


Nouvelles inventions pour bien bastir.

Paris, Hierosme de Marnef et Guillaume Cauellat, au mont S. Hilaire à l’enseigne du Pelican, 1576.

£6,500

Folio. pp. (xii), 94, (vi). A-H6, I8. “De Marnef’s pelican device (similar to Renouard 738) on the title page. Architectural title-border, the border used on the 1572 Vitruvius. The thirty four (full-page) woodcuts are the blocks designed for Fédéric Morel’s first edition of this text, printed in 1561. The emblematic headpiece from Morel’s 1567 edition of L’Orme’s Le Premier tome de L’architecture was also used here by de Marnef, along with an armorial headpiece of his own (Renouard 744). Arabesque tail-pieces. A number of the initials are close copies of those used by Morel in 1561. Large initials in other styles. The colophon on the recto of leaf I8 is printed within a border of type ornaments, with another Marnef pelican device (Renouard 729) on the verso. Roman letter, small Roman marginalia” Mortimer Harvard. Beautiful full page woodcut portrait of De L’Orme on verso of A6, (lacking in Harvard copy), ex dono of the heirs of Henri Corbault to the Jesuit College at Mons, Hannovi (Hanover) added at a later date, small elegant masonic stamp, with monogram C.K., incorporating artists paraphernalia in lower blank margin of title. Small light oil stain in title and next, margins a little thumb marked or dusty in places, verso of last a little dusty. A good, crisp copy, in early nineteenth three quarter vellum over marbled paper boards.

The third edition, using all the woodcuts of the first (1561), of this important and beautifully printed and illustrated treatise. De L’Orme (c.1510-1570), was one of the great Renaissance architects of the 16th century, the first French architect to possess the universal outlook of the Italian masters without merely imitating them. Mindful that French architectural requirements differed from the Italian, and respectful of native materials, he founded his designs on sound engineering principles, fusing the orders with a delicacy of invention, restraint, and harmony characteristic of purest French classicism. “The simple woodcuts are excellent examples of perfectly understood and clearly presented structural details and show De Lorme’s system of built up timber roofs, requiring no ties or heavy timbers, which was successfully used as late as the end of the eighteenth century in the Halle-aux-Bles in Paris. Indeed, De Lorme is unique among the early writers on architecture for the emphasis he placed upon construction. A copy of the 1576 edition was in the library of Thomas Jefferson (Sowerby, No. 4183).” Fowler (on the first edition).

“Of the leading early French architectural writers, De Lorme is the most interesting and original, but is less distinguished an artist than Jean Bullant and is less versatile as a draughtsman than Du Cerceau. De Lorme has been called the first modern architect because of his original contributions to construction and his skill as an organizer, but Blomfield says that ‘It was by his strong individuality rather than by his art that De Lorme won, and has maintained, his place among the great Frenchmen of the sixteenth century’ (Blomfeld French Arch. I Vol. I p. 92)” Fowler. “First published in 1561 the ‘Nouvelles inventions (the treatise on roofs) describes ingenious techniques which replace the use of large rectilinear pieces of square section, with small flat and curved elements assembled like keystones. This new invention appears to comply with a rational approach in industrial terms, in that it keeps costs down, standardizes construction and means that a relatively unqualified workforce can be employed. These innovative ideas, which were too revolutionary to achieve much success despite the persuasive force of the author, were not put into practice properly until after 1750, the date when the modern science of building properly emerged.” Vaughan Hart ‘Paper Palaces.’

“The treatise “Le nouvelles inventions” (…) is a milestone in the history of wood inventions as it contains different conceptions of how wood can be used. Anyone who wishes to study wooden roofing has to consider the theories of this French architect.” Maria Rita Campa.

BM STC Fr. C16th p. 287. Brunet, II 578. Brun p. 182. Harvard I Fowler 98 (1st edn.) Not in Murray or Rothschild.

L1511

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BARDI, Girolamo


Dichiaratione di tutte le istorie, che si contengono nei quadri posti nouamente nelle Sale dello Scrutinio, & del Gran Consiglio, del Palagio Ducale della Serenissima Republica di Vinegia.

Venice, Felix Valgrisio, 1587.

£1,950

FIRST EDITION 8vo. ff. [viii] 64. Italic letter, some Roman. Woodcut printer’s device of hands grasping a caduceus to t-p, woodcut initials. Very light foxing to first few leaves. A very good, clean copy in C17 Italian vellum, ms title to spine, edges speckled red.

First edition of Girolamo Bardi’s important guide to the paintings in the Palazzo Ducale in Venice; the work is very rare, only one copy (Cambridge UL) is recorded in Adams. Little is known of Bardi’s life, save that he came from a prominent Florentine family, which produced a number of authors and scholars. The present work is dedicated to Giovanni I Cornaro (1551-1629; Doge from 1625).

In 1577, a huge fire damaged the Sala dello Scrutinio and the Great Council Chamber in the Palazzo Ducale, causing serious structural damage and destroying numerous important paintings. Architectural reconstruction work was completed by 1579-1580, and a committee was formed to commission new works of art and devise the iconographic programme which they should follow. Bardi was a member of this committee; the present work reveals not only his ‘insider knowledge’ of the practical implementation of the restoration project, but also his deep appreciation of art and the care with which the new decorative schema was devised. Many of the paintings from this mass commissioning were inevitably workmanlike, never wholly adequate replacements for the lost works by artists such as Gentile da Fabriano, Pisanello, Alvise Vivarini, Carpaccio, Bellini, Pordenone and Titian. But there were also inspired and innovative choices, such as the new works by Tintorretto, Bassano and Paolo Veronese. (The restoration programme lasted many years, and some famous works, such as Tintorretto’s Paradise, were produced long after Bardi’s preliminary report.)

In the present work, Bardi describes the circumstances of the fire, and the reorganisation of the two rooms worst affected, the Sala dello Scrutinio and the Great Council Chamber. His detailed description of the new pictures, recording celebrated Venetian victories, essentially provides a potted version of the key events of Venetian history, as conceived by the rulers of the late sixteenth century. In addition to the historical paintings, Bardi also describes the portraits of the Doges, a permanent record of whose likeness was a consequence of office. The art historical interest of the account is increased by the fact that Bardi explains the physical layout of the rooms, with details of where each painting was hung in relation to its fellows, allowing us to reconstruct the precise appearance and disposition of the galleries at this period.

Not in BM STC Italian; Adams B 195; Edit-on line 35765; Cicogna 4669; Schlosser-Magnino 369; not in Fowler.

L641

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CATANEO, Girolamo

THOMAS KNYVETT’S COPY


Nuovo Ragionamento del Fabricare le Fortezze. (with) Modo di formare con prestezza le moderne battaglie di picche, archibugieri, et cavalleria.

Brescia, Giovanni Francesco & Pietro Maria de’ Marchetti, 1571.

£3,750

FIRST and only early editions 4to., ff. [iv] 35 i.e. 34 ; [iv] 30 [i]. Two works in one, separate title pages to each. Roman letter, Aldine-style anchor and dolphin device to both title pages, illustrations and diagrams to both works, one double page to first, 3 double to second, woodcut initials and large ornaments. Three bifolia diagrams to first work unsewn as issued, first title page very slightly soiled. Very good unsophisticated copy in contemp. English calf, a bit rubbed, blind panel with gilt central and corner fleurons, spine gilt in compartments, morocco lettering piece, small restoration, lacking ties. C14th English vellum manuscript stub, rubricated, blue initial, C16th manuscript autographs of Thomas Knyvett in Italic and Secretary hands on first title page, armorial bookplate of the Earl of Macclesfield on pastedown, Shirburn castle blindstamp at head of first two leaves, early press mark inside front cover and classification on blank verso of last.

The first work is an argument on how to build fortresses to make them safer, both in theory and practice, a reminder of the prestige Cataneo enjoyed as a military architect and mathematician whose treatises had a powerful influence on military building across the Mediterranean and the coast of Africa. It also covers how to measure great distances. The second explains in great detail how to calculate the necessary numbers and arrange formations of pikemen, artillerymen and cavalry, how to march and be effective in battle, with the help of illustrations.

Sir Thomas Knyvett (1539-1618), barrister, of a leading Norfolk family with estates in Lincolnshire, Suffolk, Staffordshire and Yorkshire started to build his splendid collection after the first flood of books and manuscripts from the monastic libraries.

At his death his library numbered approximately 1,400 titles and 70 manuscripts on various subjects, as recorded in his library catalogue now in Cambridge University Library, which also received much of his collection in 1715. Favouring original texts, he became proficient in many languages, nurturing a particular love of Italian, owning at least 80 Italian books. Never a very rich man, the size of his library is extraordinary for the period, and it is likely that many of his books were obtained second hand. This binding is typical of those bound for his collection. Of the five works by Cataneo listed in his catalogue (which mentions this volume), none were later gifted to Cambridge.

i. BM STC It. 158. Riccardi I 315, 5. Cockle 779. IA 133.930. Censimento 16 CNCE 10303. Cat. Col. Bibl. Esp. C 1188. Not in Gamba or Adams.

L681

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LOMAZZO, Paolo

FROM ART TO THEORY AND BACK

Trattato dell’arte della pittura, scoltura, et architettura, di Gio. Paolo Lomazzo milanese pittore, diuiso in sette libri. … Con vna tauola de’ nomi de tutti li pitttori, scoltori, architetti, & matematici antichi, & moderni.

Milan, Paolo Gottardo Pontio, 1585.

£3,950

FIRST EDITION second issue. 4to. (xl), 700 (i.e. 698) (ii). (✝)⁸, (✝✝)¹² A-2V⁸, 2X⁶. Roman letter, titles in Italic. Small woodcut printer’s device on title, divisional half-title with woodcut portrait of Lomazzo in medallion on recto of B1, C19th library label to pastedown with shelf mark, early manuscript ex libris and small later library stamp washed out at foot of title page, monogram ‘GEB’ above, C19th bibliographical notes on fly. A fine, well margined copy, crisp and clean, in contemporary limp vellum, remains of ties.

First edition, second issue with a new title page, of this seminal work of art theory by the Italian painter and writer Lomazzo. “Lomazzo, the Milanese painter (1538-1600), wished to give in his theoretical writings the final and conclusive argument for the nobility of painting. By demonstrating that the painter’s primary and most important activity was intellectual, and that that his manual activity was in all cases simply an execution of ideas mentally conceived, he extended to painters the dignity hitherto enjoyed by poets and rhetoricians. By supplying rules for the seven parts of painting that he had logically deduced from careful definition, he “reduced painting to an art,” and elevated it to an academic subject. These demonstrations were to result in a single and complete treatise that covered theory, technique, and subject matter. …

Lomazzo’s publications were not motivated simply by his vanity as a painter or his ambition as a writer. During the century and a half previous to his career, enormous changes had taken place in the art of painting, which made his arguments for the higher station of painting both necessary and valid. Painters had developed techniques and rules that could be systematized and taught like those of the liberal arts, and they had increased the range and seriousness of the thematic matter of the art in a way to rival literature. The technical accomplishments of the Renaissance painters are still admired and studied in an age that abjures their employment, and the full extent of the intellectual content of Renaissance painting will remain a matter for inquiry, discovery and synthesis through many more years of iconographical studies.” Gerald Ackerman. The Art Bulletin Vol. 49, No. 4 (Dec., 1967).

“It is the summa of late Renaissance theory of art, a book Schlosser called the ‘bible of Mannerism’. … Lomazzo’s art theory reached many readers. … Still in the sixteenth century a translation of the Trattato appeared in Oxford, “englished by Richard Haydock, student of Physick” (1598). A treatise by the English miniature painter Richard Hilliard is so closely related to the Trattato that it has been considered a paraphrase of Lomazzo’s text. Here was finally the longed-for, articulate, complete system of painting – and Lomazzo constructed a system perfectly fitting the intellectual and emotional atmosphere prevailing among the public he addressed.

His claim to providing a system rests, to begin with, on what he believes to be a complete enumeration of the constituents, or “parts” of paintings. The art of producing images consists of seven parts, and to each of them a book of the Trattato is devoted.” Moshe Barasch. ‘Theories of Art: From Plato to Winckelmann.’ The book is also full of first-hand information about Milanese artists, quoting extensively from lost sources. The seventh and final book includes a veritable dictionary of the iconography of the period. A lovely copy of this important first edition.

BM STC C16 It., p. 391. Brunet, III, 1148 ‘Estimés et peu communs’. Comolli, A. Bib. storico-critica dell’architettura civile, I, p. 18-24. Fowler, 186. Cicognara 159-161. Berlin Kat 4612.

L1426

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