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BERTANI, Giovanni Battista (1516--1576)
[Gli oscuri et dificili passi]
Gli oscvri et dificili passi dell'opera Ionica di Vitrvvio. Di Latino in volgare et alla chiara inteligentia tradotti. Et con le sve figvre a lvochi svoi per Giovan Battista Bertano Mantovano.
In Mantoa per Venturino Ruffinello, 1558.
[56] p., engr. frontis. : wdcut illus. ; 39.5cm. (2°)

The imprint and date of publication are taken from the colophon. With an initial blank leaf (included in above collation). The frontispiece, designed by Bertani himself and engraved by his friend Giorgio Ghisi, portrays Hercules victorious over the seven-headed Hydra, alluding not only to the power of the book's dedicatee, Cardinale Ercole Gonzaga (1505--1563), but also to the superiority of Bertani's interpretation of Vitruvius over that of seven previous commentators, i.e. Fra Giocondo, Dürer, Alberti, Cesare Cesariano, Serlio, Guglielmo Philandro, and Daniele Barbaro. For further details see Suzanne Boorsch, Michal and R.E. Lewis, The engravings of Giorgio Ghisi, exhibition catalogue, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1985, no. 24. In this copy the frontispiece and title-page are inscribed AI and AII respectively in manuscript, although the former is a plate printed on a single leaf of different quality paper, sig. A1 being in truth the initial blank leaf. See Cicognara 428; and Ruth Mortimer, Harvard College Library Department of Printing and Graphic Arts, Catalogue of books and manuscripts, part II: Italian 16th century books, 2 vols (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, Belknap Press, 1974), II, pp. 766--68, no. 548.

Copy Notes Inscribed in pencil on recto of front free-endpaper 1.11.6 and in ink on verso of final page Racco. alli heredi del Sr. Tomasi Zonca [?] / A Venetia.

Binding Contemporary C16th limp vellum.

Reference Number 1692


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