Marcolini, Francesco (1550-1559). Giardino dei Pensieri composta da Francesco Marcolini da Forli L’Anno mdl. Ristampata nel MDCCLXXXIV. [Venice, Santini], 1784.

Marcolini, Francesco (1550-1559). Giardino dei Pensieri composta da Francesco Marcolini da Forli L’Anno mdl. Ristampata nel MDCCLXXXIV. [Venice, Santini], 1784.

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Marcolini, Francesco (1550-1559).

Giardino dei Pensieri composta da Francesco Marcolini da Forli L’Anno mdl. Ristampata nel MDCCLXXXIV

[Venice, Santini], 1784.

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Probably the first numeroté Italian book, one of only thirty-six copies published

Marcolini, Francesco (1550-1559).

Giardino dei Pensieri composta da Francesco Marcolini da Forli L’Anno mdl. Ristampata nel MDCCLXXXIV. [Venice, Santini], 1784.

Folio (374 x 265 mm). [4], 157 [i.e. 206] pages. Pages 1-7 are typeset, while all extant leaves, including the preliminaries, are engravings reproducing the text and original woodcuts of the 1550 edition. As in this previous edition, the page number on the verso is often repeated on the following recto. Marcolini's engraved portrait after the woodcut portrait of the 1550 edition, signed by Giuseppe Daniotto (1741-1789). Contemporary vellum, over pasteboards. Spine with six raised bands; gilt title on morocco lettering-piece. Covers slightly soiled and bowed. An immaculate copy. Minimal fingermarks to right corners and margins of a few leaves.

Rare, privately printed eighteenth-century Venetian edition of Marcolini's Sorti, the most celebrated book of fortune games of the Italian Renaissance, and one of the great illustrated books of the sixteenth century. The present work is modeled on the more complete, and revised second edition of 1550, the first having appeared in 1540. It is of especial art historical interest for showing how the gusto of eighteenth-century Venetian engraving 'translated' the illustrations of sixteenth-century woodcuts. This generally shows higher definition of the image owing to the medium when the original was more suggestive and perhaps refined, with a greater degree of realism. The Giardino dei Pensieri of 1784 is one of the first books to be printed in a limited and numbered press run, with only thirty-six copies, of which the present copy is numbered fourteen.

As stated in the title-page, this edition is a larger-format reprint of the 1550 edition, with the exception of the lovely rococo title-page, showing a receding formal garden, and the verso of the final leaf, in which a poem in terza rima allows us to identify the printer (Santini), localize the place of publication (Venice), and infer that the book's illustrator, Giuseppe Daniotto (who signs the portrait of Marcolini), is also responsible for the vignettes. The same verses claim that after the printing of thirty-six copies, the plates perished in the proverbial fire, thus limiting production to an exclusive number. Casali credits the financing of the publication to the Venetian patrician Francesco Savorgnan of Campareggio, a noted bibliophile.

OCLC records a single copy, held at the University of Chicago.

Casali Annali, pp. 176-77; Brunet III, 1408; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 247.

 
 
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