Inamoramento de Rinaldo de monte Albano et diverse ferocissime battaglie leq[ua]le fece lardito et francho Paladino et come occise Ma[m]brino di Levante et moltissimi forti pagani et Quanti paesi diversi conquisto et dele sue Venture et fortune tratando et come piu fiate Combate co[n] Orlando et Carlo et li altri paladini per linga[n]ni de Gaino come hebbe Guidon salvagio et co[m]e nacque et co[m]e trovo Baiardo et poi ultimame[n]te morto et li Miracoli che fece et fa el suo Santo corpo in la Cita de Colognia De Alemania

Autore: FORTI, Girolamo (d. 1489)

Tipografo: Giovanni Tacuino

Dati tipografici: Venezia, 1517


4to (214x158 mm). (180) leaves. Collation: a-y8 z4. Z4 is a blank. On the title-page large round woodcut portrait of Rinaldo on horseback. With also numerous woodcut vignettes in the text, some on black ground. Text printed in two columns. Nineteenth-century red morocco gilt, spine with five raised bands and gilt title, gilt inside dentelles, gilt edges, marbled endpapers (Trautz-Bauzonnet). Provenance: Charles Farfaix Murray, Giuseppe Martini, Leo Olschki (Rome, 15 April 1927), S.F. Brunschwig (Cat. Genève, 28-30 March 1955, no. 259), and Pierre Berès. Title-page and a few leaves only slightly browned, loss of paper in the lower blank margin of l. N4 not affecting the text, otherwise a nice, well-margined copy.


VERY RARE EDITION of the Italian rhymed version, attributed to Girolamo Forti, of the Saint Reinoldus legend, part of the Quatre fils Aymon.

The story of Renaud de Montauban was first written in Alexandrine verse in the thirteenth century. From that many versions were then developed. In Italy the story of Rinaldo first appeared in the fourteenth century, both in prose and in verse. It was printed many times: Naples, c. 1475; Venice, 1494; Milan, 1501; Turin, 1503; Milan, 1510; Venice, M. Sessa, 1515. All these editions are of great rarity and mostly known in only one copy.

The present edition is based on that of Sessa, from which also derives the woodcut on the title-page and those in text (with some additions). We were able to trace only one other copy of this edition, at Yale, missing two leaves. The Yale copy comes from the Essling and Bonfiglioli collections. The copy quoted by Melzi & Tosi (see below), bound with Pietro Durante's Leandra (Venice, Bindoni, 1517) and offered in Catalogue 19 (no. 2532, fr. 300) of the Paris bookseller Tross, has since then disappeared.

The story of Rinaldo can be also found in Pulci's Morgante, in the poems by Boiardo and Ariosto, in Forteguerri's Ricciardetto, and in Tasso's Rinaldo. It narrates the deeds of the four children of Aimon of Dordogne. These were knighted by Charlemagne, but after that Rinaldo killed in a duel the grandson of Charlemagne, Bertolai, they were forced to flee in order to escape the emperor's vengeance. After various episodes of wars and reconciliations with Charlemagne, Rinaldo continued, with the help of his wondrous horse Bayard and of the magician Malagigi, his adventures in the Holy Land, dying finally in Cologne. Rinaldo was not just a knight, but also a saint, and his legend pleased the public of the squares as well as that of the courts (cf. M. Praloran, Cantari di Rinaldo, in: “Il poema in ottava. Storia linguistica italiana”, Rome, 2003, pp. 33-45).


OCLC, 80153062; M. Sander, Le livre à figures italien, Milan, 1942, III, no. 6496; G. Melzi & P.A. Tosi, Bibliografia dei romanzi di cavalleria in versi e in prosa italiani, Milan, 1865, p. 256; Prince d'Essling, Les livres à figure vénitiens, Florence-Paris, 1908, no. 1859.