Il Rota overo dellíimprese dialogoÖ Nel qual si ragiona di molte imprese di diversi eccellenti autori, et di alcune regole et avvertimenti intorno questa material, scritto al S. Vincenzo Carrafa

Autore AMMIRATO, Scipione (1531-1601)..
Tipografo Scotto Giovanni Maria
Dati tipografici Napoli, 
Prezzo Ä 1.800,00
Il Rota overo dellíimprese dialogo

8vo. 230, (8) pp. 1 blank leaf. With woodcut ornaments on the title-page.

Bound with:

PALAZZI, Giovanni Andrea (d. 1573). I discorsi... sopra l'imprese: recitati nell'Academia d'Urbino: con la Tavola delle cose più notabili, che in loro si contengono.

Bologna, Alessandro Benacci, 1575. 8vo. (20), 206, (18) pp. With the printer's device on the title-page.

- And:

LAURO, Cosimo (d. 1588). Capriccio intorno al nome di Selvaggio, & le lodi delle selve. Et una lettera alla illustre signora, la signora Barbara Callina. Nella quale, oltra le lodi di essa signora si racconta donde i filosofi antichi hebbero cognitione di Dio; & quai credettero,che fossero i principij delle cose. Del Selvaggio Academico Occulto, presidente dignissimo dell'Academia il Nebuloso.

Brescia, Borella & Sabbio, 1566. 8vo. (32) ll. With a woodcut emblem on the title-page.

(I:). RARE FIRST EDITION of this important treatise on the theory of ‘imprese', preceded only by Paolo Giovio's Dialogo dell'imprese militari e amorose (Roma, 1555). This form of personalized emblem date from the middle of the 15th century in the ‘revers de médailles' of Pisanello. The ‘impresa' was essentially in the same format as the common emblem, but it lacked a subscription and had various peculiar rules of construction. It consisted of a motto and a picture in mutual dependence, neither of which can function meaningfully without the other (cf. D. Drysdall, The Emblem according to the Italian‘Impresa' Theorists,  in: “The Emblem in Renaissance and Baroque Europe. Tradition and Variety”, A. Adams & A.J. Harper, eds., Leiden 1992, pp. 22-32).

            Also Ammirato's treatise is written in form of a dialogue, the interlocutors being Nino de Nini, bishop of Potenza, the Florentine man of letters Alfonso Cambi, the physician and botanist Bartolomeo Maranta and the man who gave his name to the dialogue, the Neapolitan poet and playwright Bernardino Rota (1508-1575). The work is dedicated to Vincenzo Carafa and contains apart a comprehensive theory of the ‘impresa' also a very detailed description of the forty-six ‘imprese' Rota had depicted in his villa in memory of his deceased wife, Porzia Capece (he had already published a volume of poems dedicated to her in 1560). These ‘imprese' demonstrate how they can be used to construct a visitable space, which functions to a degree as a theatre of memory (cf. G. Arbizzoni, Imprese e poesia nel ‘Rota' di Scipione Ammirato, in: “Un nodo di parole e di cose. Storia e fortuna delle imprese”, Roma, 2002, pp. 37-57, and A. Maggi, Identità e impresa rinascimentale, Ravenna, 1998, pp.  135-146; M. Favaro, Sulla concezione dell'impresa in Scipione Ammirato, in: “Italianistica”, XXXVIII/2, 1998, pp. 285-298).

            Scipione Ammirato, historian, poet, novelist and playwright, was born at Lecce in the kingdom of Naples. His father intending him for the profession of law, sent him to study at Naples, but his own decided preference for literature prevented him from fulfilling his father's wishes. In Naples he frequented several literary circles and became a friend of the poets Bernardino Rota and Angelo di Costanza. Later he entered the church, resided for a time at Venice and was afterwards engaged in the service of Pope Pius IV. He took refuge in Lecce after a turbulent love affair and founded there the Accademia dei Trasformati. In 1569 he went to Florence, where he was fortunate in securing the patronage and support of Duke Cosimo I., who gave him a residence at the Medici Palace and the Villa Zopaja on the understanding that he should write his Istorie Fiorentine (which were published in 1600 and 1647 respectively). In 1595 he was made canon of the cathedral of Florence. Among his other works, some of which were only published after his death, are genealogies of noble families of Naples and Florence (cf. A. Vallone, Scipione Ammirato poeta, in: “Studi e ricerche di letteratura salentina”, Lecce, 1959, pp. 29-96; and R. de Mattei, Il pensiero politico di Scipione Ammirato, Milano, 1963, passim; and U. Congedo, La vita e le opere di Scipione Ammirato, Trani, 1904, passim).

            Edit 16, CNCE 1565; Index Aureliensis 104.844 ; Universal STC, no. 809100; G. Arbizzoni, Emblems as imprese, in: “The Italian Emblem”, D. Manuseto & E.L. Calogero, eds., (Glasgow, 2007), p. 13; D.S. Caldwell, The Sixteenth-Century Italian ‘Impresa' in Theory and Practice, (New York, 2004), pp. 43-57.

(II:).RARE FIRST EDITION of Palazzi's disquisitions on ‘imprese' posthumously published by his brother-in-law, Pietro Viti da Fano. The work consists of four lectures delivered over a period of four days probably toward the end of 1569 and the beginning of 1570 in the Accademia degli Assorditi of Urbino. The work is greatly indebted to Luca Contile's Ragionamento sopra la proprietà  delle imprese (Pavia, 1574). In his first Discorso Palazzi says that he was asked by the academy to speak on ‘imprese' and also provides an explanation of the ‘impresa' of the Assorditi. In the second Discorso he makes an accurate distinction between livery, ‘impresa' and emblem and deals with other kinds of symbolic image, such as ciphers and coat-of-arms (cf. S. Maffei, Giovio's 'Dialogo delle imprese militari e amorose' and the Museum, in: “The Italian Emblem”, D. Mansueto & E.L. Calogero, eds., Glasgow, 2007, p. 36). In the third Discorso he presents his definition of the ‘impresa' and deplores the blunting of it in recent times (cf. S. Volterrani, All' 'Hostaria del mal tempo', il realismo emblematico di Padre Antonio Mirandola, in: “The Italian Emblem”, D. Mansueto & E.L. Calogero, eds., Glasgow, 2007, pp. 192-193). The final lecture deals mainly with the 'corpi' of 'imprese': where to find them, which ones are suitable, and so forth (cf. D. Caldwell, The Sixteenth Century Italian 'Impresa' in Theory and Practice, New York, 2004, pp. 166-168).

Giovanni Andrea Palazzi obtained his first education at Fano and later taught humanities at Gubbio, Imola and Urbino, where he was tutor to Lavinia della Rovere, daughter of Guidobaldo II. He wrote a eulogy of the humanists of Imola (1573). Some of his verses are found in the anthology Per donne romane rime di diversi, edited by Muzio Manfredi (Bologna, 1575). Probably he was one of the founders of the Accademia degli Assorditi of Urbino (cf. G. Arbizzoni, Note su Giovanni Andrea Palazzi e i 'Discorsi sopra le imprese', in: “Res publica litterarum”, VI, 1983, pp. 9-18).

Edit 16, CNCE32444; Adams, P-76; Universal STC, no. 846131; M. Praz, Studies in Seventeenth Century Imagery, (Roma, 1975), p. 443; G. Savarese & A. Gareffi, La letteratura delle immagini nel Cinquecento, (Roma, 1980), pp. 240-248.

(III:) RARE ORIGINAL EDITION of this literary exercise written by a member of the Accademia degli Occulti of Brescia. It contains an eulogy on forests, the nickname of the author being ‘Il Selvaggio'(the Savage) and a letter addressed to the noblewoman Barbara Callini (d. 1568), who was an influential patron of the academy, who was honored with several poems written by members of it (cf. A. Maggi, Identità e impresa rinascimentale, Ravenna, 1998, pp. 97-115).

            Little is known about the life of Cosimo Lauro. He was a native of Brescia, wrote a history of the bishops and noble families (never published) of that town and was an active member of the Accademia degli Occulti, founded in the early 1560s, which promoted for nearly twenty years intellectual activities ranging from poetry to mathematical debates. For the academy Lauro wrote a kind of statutory document, Ragionamento fatto dal Seluaggio academico nel nascimento dell'Academia delli Occolti (1565) (cf. L. Bisello, ‘Di minute scintille un grande fuoco'. Parabola storica e testuale dell'Accademia degli Occulti, in: “Cenacoli: circoli e gruppi letterari, artistici, spirituali”, F. Zambon, ed., Milano, 2007, pp. 221-245).

Edit 16, CNCE 26867; Universal STC, no. 837639.


Three works in one volume, 8° (150x101 mm). I. Collation: A-P8. 230, [10] pages. Complete with the blank P8. Roman and italic type. Woodcut ornaments on the title-page. Woodcut animated initials on fol. A2r, tailpiece. II. Collation: †10, A-O8. [20], 206, [18] pages. Roman and italic type. Woodcut printer's device on the title-page. Woodcut decorated initial on fol. A1r. III. Collation: *4, A-C8, D4. [32] leaves. Complete with fol. *4 blank. Roman and italic type. Woodcut emblem on the title-page, woodcut decorated initials. Contemporary limp vellum with yapp edges. Traces of ties. Smooth spine, early inked title. A volume in very good condition, minor and sporadic foxing. A few reading marks on the margins of the second bound edition.

  • Il Rota overo dellíimprese dialogo
  • Il Rota overo dellíimprese dialogo
  • Il Rota overo dellíimprese dialogo