Delle lettere familiari del commendatore [...] Volume primo [-secondo]

Autore: CARO, Annibale (1507-1566)

Tipografo: Bernardo Giunta.

Dati tipografici: Venezia,   1581

Formato: in quarto

Two parts in one volume, 4to (200x145 mm). [8], 176; [8], 272 pp. Collation: †4 A-L8; †4 A-R8. Printer's device on both title pages with the Medici-Cappello's coat-of-arms. Woodcut decorated initials. Slightly later stiff vellum, ink title on spine, blue edges (worn, worm holes on spine, panels and pastedowns). On the front pastedown armorial bookplate with motto “sic laeta quiesco”. Foxing and staining, some leaves slighlty browned, worm holes to title page and following five leaves not affecting text, other worm holes to the inner lower corner of pp. 257-271 and to the last two leaves with loss of a few letters.

FIRST GIUNTA EDITION, second issue. In the first issue the dedications of both volumes of the first Aldine edition, printed respectively in 1572 and 1575, have been maintained: volume I was dedicated by Giovanni Battista Caro, Annibal's nephew, to cardinal Girolamo da Correggio (Rome, March 1, 1572); volume II, by Annibal's brother, Lepido, to cardinal Tolomeo Gallio (Rome, November 12, 1575). In this second issue the first quires of both volumes have been completely reset. In volume I was printed a new dedication addressed by Bernardo Giunta to Francesco Tiepolo (Venice, August 25, 1581), whereas the dedication to Tolomeo Gallio in the second was maintained. Besides that, are found new capital letters at the beginning of the text in both volumes as well as all wrong numbering of the first issue was corrected. After this first edition, Giunta reprinted Caro's letters in 1582, 1587, and 1591/2.

Volume I contains 200 letters, mostly dated from November 1537 to April 1551; volume II 265 letters, almost all dated from April 1551 to July 1566. The letters are disposed in chronological order, although not strictly. Among the major recipients are Benedetto Varchi, Luca Martini, Luca Contile, Francesco Maria Molza, Giovanni Guidiccioni, and Pier Vettori (cf. A. Gareffi, “La lettera uccide, ma lo spirito vivifica” (Paolo, II, Corinzi 3:7). L'epistolario di Annibal Caro: lettere, letteratura, letteralità, in: “Le carte messaggiere. Retorica e modelli di comunicazione epistolare. Per un indice dei libri di lettere del Cinquecento”, A. Quondam, ed., Roma, 1981, pp. 237-253).

“The private letters of Annibal Caro collectively offer numerous insights into the literary, scholarly, artistic, and political life of mid-sixteenth-century Italy. Even if it were not for the sheer bulk of Caro's correspondence, and its even distribution throughout the years of his maturity, it would constitute an important historical source simply because he had such a broad range of interests and such a wide circle of friends. As a personal secretary, first to Monsignor Giovanni Gaddi, then to Alessandro and Pier Luigi Farnese, and as a friend of both Marcello Cervini (Marcellus II) and Giovanni Antonio Fachinetti (Innocent IX), Caro had extensive inside knowledge of the political and ecclesiastical activities of the Roman curia at its highest levels. On the other hand, as a friend of Pietro Carnesecchi and Giulia Gonzaga, and as an interested follower of the career of Bernardo Ochino, and as the bitter opponent of Lodovico Castelvetro in a lengthy literary dispute, he also had the opportunity to witness from a favorable vantage point several important episodes in the history of Italian heterodoxy. Moreover, his association with Pietro Bembo, Sperone Speroni, Benedetto Varchi, Bernardo Tasso, Pietro Aretino, Francesco Molza, and Francesco Berni brought him into touch with virtually all the literary and critical trends of the sixteenth century. Finally, as a friend of Michelangelo, Giorgio Vasari, Benvenuto Cellini, Agnolo Bronzino, and Niccolò Tribolo, and as an expert iconographer in his own right, he came into contact with, and left his mark on, significant artistic developments of the same period” (R.S. Samuels, An Addition to Annibal Caro's ‘Lettere Familiari', in: “Renaissance Quartely”, 27/3, 1974, p. 300; see also R. Gordiani, Annibal Caro, conseilleur culturel et artistique dans ses ‘Lettere familiari', in: “La Correspondence (II)”, G. Ulysse, ed., Aix-en-Provence, 1985, pp. 237-258).

“Des sujets et de longueurs très variés, les lettres de Caro réalisent une synthèse harmonieuse entre la rhétorique et le naturel. On relèvera la lettere sur ‘la miseria dello scrivere', la célèbre lettre de consolation à Isabetta Arnolfina de' Guidiccioni pour la mort de son frère l'évêque, la non moins célèbre lettre à B. Tasso contre les ‘Signorie' et la troisième personne de politesse, de nombreuses lettres à des artistes, les lettres de relations d'affaires ou de courtoisie, les lettres amicales et souriantes entre humanistes, etc[…]. Les lettres du [deuxième] volume ont les mêmes caractéristiques que celles du premier. On ne relèvera que quatre longues lettres: d'une part, trois propositions de décoration, pour le palais de Capraiola en 1562, pour une loggia en 1564, et pour le ‘studio' du cardinal Farnèse en 1565, d'autre part, une description des dévises de quelque grands et leur interprétation. Cette dernière lettre addressée à la duchesse d'Urbin le 15 janvier 1563, manuscrite, devait comporter les dessins des devises commentées. Dans le text imprimé, chacune n'est plus représentée que par une circonférence, et le commentaire qui suit commence plusieurs fois par ‘questa [impresa]'[…] Entre cette [Giunta] édition et la première de chaque volume, les varinates, minimes, concernent surtout la graphie” (J. Basso, Le genre épistolaire en langue italienne (1538-1662). Répertoire chronologique et analytique, Roma & Nancy, 1990, pp. 264-265).

Adams, C-742; Basso, p. 265; Edit 16, CNCE 9653; Index Aureliensis, 132.477; Quondam, p. 293; P. Camerini, Annali dei Giunti, Firenze, 1963, II, p. 464, no. 10.

Due parti in un volume in 8vo (mm. 200x145). Pp. [8], 176; [8], 272. Segnatura: †4 A-L8; †4 A-R8. Marca xilografica al frontespizio delle due parti, raffigurante lo stemma dei Medici-Cappello (sei palle, leone, cappello) entro cornice figurata, con il motto: “Amat victoria curam”. Capilettera xilografici. Aloni e lievi fioriture ad alcune carte. Alcune carte leggermente brunite. Piccoli fori di tarlo marginali al frontespizio e alle cinque carte successive, che tuttavia non interessano il testo. Piccolo forellino all'angolo interno inferiore delle pp. 257-271, piccoli segni di tarlo alle ultime due carte che comportano la perdita di poche lettere. Note manoscritte al margine di alcune carte. Piena pergamena rigida di poco posteriore con titolo manoscritto al dorso. Tagli azzurri. Fori di tarlo ai piatti e al dorso, lievi aloni e leggere abrasioni. Segni di tarlo ai contropiatti. Ex libris calcografico con stemma e motto (“Sic laeta quiesco”) applicato al contropiatto anteriore.


[7531]