VITRUVIUS POLLIO, Marcus. Vitruvius Iterum et Frontinus a Iocundo Revisi Repurgatique quantum ex collatione licuit. Florence, Giunti, 1513.
8vo, (4), 187, (1), 34, (24) ff. Bound in contemporary stiff vellum, title stenciled in ink on spine. Head of spine chipped. Some faint marginal foxing on title and scattered leaves, a small, light waterstain on a few others, but generally an unusually fresh, unsophisticated copy. Excellent.
$12,500 Augmented edition of THE FIRST ILLUSTRATED EDITION OF VITRUVIUS (1511), the first attempt to establish a critical text of the only surviving ancient architectural treatise, one notoriously difficult for its technical matter and crabbed means of expression. It is notable that this was undertaken by a practicing architect, Fra Giovanni Giocondo, equally at home in the practice of building and in the finer points of humanist philology: he worked on St. Peter?s with Raphael and Bramante and supervised construction after the latter's death in 1514.
?Fra Giocondo's publication of his edition of Vitruvius in 1511 is the best remembered of his Venetian projects... Fra Giocondo's claim for his edition is that he reconciled the reconstituted Latin text with the extant Roman ruins. Although Manfredo Tafuri criticizes his Latin edition as less rigorous than the editio princeps of Sulpizio, and Francesco Pellati considers his assertive interventions worthy of a translator rather than an editor, Lucia Ciapponi has shown that Fra Giocondo's corrections and filling of lacunae were based on manuscripts unknown to the earlier editor. Fra Giocondo had distinguished counselors in Venice, including Pietro Bembo, Giovanni Lascaris, and Giovanni Marco da Landinara, an expert in optics, who assisted him with the illustrations. The graphic segment is of course the great breakthrough of Fra Giocondo's edition. Although seemingly coarse and diagrammatic, the illustrations are logical and clear. The woodcut illustrations, based on drawings probably prepared by Fra Giocondo himself, are assumed to have been made by the publisher- (M. Pollak in Millard, Italian, p. 493).
The present work contains the 136 Tacuino woodcuts of the 1511 first edition in smaller format, plus 4 new woodcuts, and is further augmented by Frontinus's treatise on aqueducts. The work was reprinted in 1522. The influence of both text and illustration could be felt throughout the 16th century (see Mortimer's entry for nachleben).
* Adams V-903; Fowler 394; Wiebenson I-6; Mortimer II.543 (1511).