Lettere toscane [...] divise in quattro libri

Autore: LAPINI, Eufrosino (1520-1571)

Tipografo: Anselmo Giaccarelli

Dati tipografici: Bologna, 1556

8vo. (8), 311, (1 blank) pp. [π] 4, A-T8, V4. With the printer's device on title-page and a woodcut diagram in the text (p. 295). Eighteenth century Italian vellum over boards, gilt title on spine, red edges. From the library of Franz Pollack-Parnau.

Adams, L-181; Basso, pp. 186-187; Edit 16, CNCE 25789; Quondam, p. 301.


FIRST AND ONLY EDITION dedicated by the author to Ludwig Langenauer (Bologna, February 18, 1556). The collection contains 64 letters divided into 4 books. The letters were all sent from Firenze and Bologna between 1552 and 1556.

The topics covered are clearly expressed in the short titles describing the content at the beginning of each letter. These show the author's own interests and the great influence the work of Giovanni Della Casa had on him. In fact, he similarly discusses issues related to Italian language and education, to friendship and virtue, to honor and policy, to the human condition and to the correct behavior. It is doubtful that all the letters of the collection were really sent. Some of them, especially those without recipient, were probably written to introduce specific conventional topics.

Of particular interest is the letter addressed to Antonio Gianfigliazzi (dated Florence, September 28, 1554, pp. 155-157), which describes in detail a fresco painted by Giorgio Vasari in an unspecified house located in Via dei Servi in Florence, that was uncovered soon after Gianfigliuzzi's departure for the countryside. The decoration of which Lapini praises the beauty and explains the allegorical meaning, is certainly that painted on the facade of the palace of the ducal secretary Sforza Almeni, located at the corner between Via dei Servi and Via del Castellaccio, which now hosts the Museo de' Medici. It is a 16th-century palace originally built for Piero d'Antonio Taddei and subsequently confiscated by Cosimo I from the Taddei family for its opposition to the Medici regime and donated to Sforza Almeni, who embellished it further by commissioning an extensive pictorial decoration on the facade to the painters Cristoforo Gherardi and Giorgio Vasari. Vasari later accurately described the fresco in the chapter dedicated to Cristoforo Gherardi in his Vite (G. Vasari, Le vite..., 1550 e 1568, R. Bettarini & P. Barocchi, eds., 1966-1987, VI, p. 398), as he was concerned about its possible loss “per essere all'aria e molto sottoposta ai tempi fortunosi” (‘for being outdoors and much exposed to all kinds of ruinous weathers'), but also evidently very pleased with its complex iconographic program, “che conteneva, per dirlo brevemente, tutta la vita dell'uomo dalla nascita per infino alla morte” (‘which contained, to put it briefly, the whole life of man from birth to death'), which are more or less the same words also used by Lapini in his letter.

“Alla stessa città dei Fugger, Augusta, appartengono i personaggi citati nella dedica di Frosino Lapini a ‘Lodovico Langenaur [Langenauer] Augustano Alemanno'. È lo stesso Lapini a fornirci il curriculum dell'Augustano, dottore ‘nell'una e nell'altra facoltà': fu rettore del ‘nobilissimo studio di Padova' (probabilmente nel 1553-54) e dal Senato di Venezia fu nominato Gentiluomo e Cavaliere di San Marco. Il Langenauer apparteneva probabilmente alla famiglia cotitolare della ditta Haug-Langenauer-Link, in ogni caso il suo legame con il mondo degli affari della città di Augusta (e con le sue propaggini a Firenze) è testimoniato anche dalla dedica in esame: Lapini infatti riferisce che è stato spinto a stampare le sue lettere in particolare da Hieronymus Kraffter, altro mercante augustano, di confessione protestante (i Fugger invece erano cattolici), e di aver deciso di dedicare il libro al Langenauer quando ‘dal suo amicissimo & mio ottimo Mecenate M. Iacopo Pachmair di lei con molta affectione mi fu parlato'. Si tratta di Jakob Pachmair (o Pachmayer) che lavorava per i Kraffter” (C. Schiavon, Una via d'accesso agli epistolari. Le dediche dei libri di lettere d'autore nel Cinquecento. Prima parte, in: “Margini. Giornale della dedica e altro”, 3, 2009, pp. 3-48).


(Book I:)

Pachmayer, Jakob. Firenze, February 20, 1554 (p. 1)

id. Firenze, February 23, 1554 (p. 17)

Ceseri Olgiati. Firenze, February 25, 1554 (p. 27)

Kraffter, Hieronymus. Firenze, October 7, 1553 (p. 42)

De Nobili, Uberto. Firenze, February 25, 1554 (p. 68)

Schweicker, Christoph. Firenze, February 27, 1554 (p. 81)


(Book II:)

Antonio da Brignano. Firenze, January 3, 1554 (p. 105)

N. [Firenze?], January 10, 1553 (p. 108)

id. Firenze, February 29, 1554 (p. 113)

id. n.p. [Firenze?], January 14, 1553 (p. 115)

Kraffter, Hieronymus the Younger and from Schweicker, Christoph to Kraffter, Hieronymus the Elder. Firenze, January 15, 1553 (p. 119)

n.r. Firenze, February 2, 1553 (p. 121)

n.r. Firenze, February 10, 1553 (p. 125)

Gianfigliazzi, Antonio. Firenze, February 19, 1553 (p. 126)

n.r. Firenze, March 4, 1553 (p. 128)

n.r. Firenze, March 9, 1553 (p. 130)

n.r. Firenze, May 14, 1553 (p. 131)

n.r. Firenze, March 17, 1553 (p. 132)

N. Firenze, March 25, 1554 (p. 134)

Di Grazia, Adamo. Bologna, January 1, 1556 (p. 135)

n.r. Firenze, May 6, 1554 (p. 137)

n.r. Firenze, May 10, 1554 (p. 139)

Manucci, Jacopo. Firenze, June 11, 1554 (p. 174)

n.r. Firenze, June 14, 1554 (p. 143)

n.r. Firenze, June 19, 1554 (p. 144)

n.r. Firenze, July 6, 1554 (p. 145)

n.r. Firenze, July 29, 1554 (p. 146)

Manucci, Jacopo. Firenze, July 31, 1554 (p. 148)

n.r. Firenze, August 10, 1554 (p. 149)

Testi, Alessandro. Firenze, August 12, 1554 (p. 150)

De Nobili, Uberto and Sermanni, Vincenzo. Firenze, September 2, 1554 (p. 152)


(Book III:)

Gianfigliazzi, Antonio. Firenze, September 28, 1554 (p. 154)

Ubaldini, Giovan Battista. Firenze, October 6, 1554 (p. 157)

Kraffter, Hieronymus the Younger and Schweicker, Christoph. Firenze, October 8, 1554 (p. 160)

n.r. Firenze, 1554 (p. 162)

Di Grazia, Adamo. Firenze, October 11, 1554 (p. 164)

n.r. Firenze, October 24, 1554 (p. 166)

n.r. Firenze, December 17, 1554 (p. 167)

n.r. Firenze, December 22, 1554 (p. 169)

n.r. Firenze, December 25, 1553 (p. 171)

n.r. Firenze, December 24, 1554 (p. 172)

Manucci, Jacopo. Firenze, January 4, 1554 (p. 173)

De Nobili, Uberto and Sermanni, Vincenzo. Firenze, January 10, 1554 (p. 175)

n.r. Firenze, January 12, 1554 (p. 176)

Manucci, Jacopo. Firenze, January 15, 1554 (p. 177)

n.r. Firenze, January 19, 1554 (p. 179)

n.r. Firenze, January 23 1553 (p. 181)

from Kraffter, Hieronymus the Younger to Kraffter, Hieronymus the Elder. Firenze, January 30, 1553 (p. 182)

n.r. Firenze, February 5, 1552 (p. 185)

n.r. Firenze, February 9, 1554 (p. 187)

n.r. Firenze, February 10, 1554 (p. 188)

n.r. Firenze, February 15, 1554 (p. 189)

n.r. Firenze, September 9, 1554 (p. 190)

n.r. Firenze, February 18, 1554 (p. 192)

Freiheimer, Sebastian. Bologna, January 10, 1555 (p. 193)

De Nobili, Uberto and Sermanni, Vincenzo. Firenze, February, 2, 1554 (p. 197)

De Nobili, Uberto and De Nobili, Benedetto. Firenze, February 10, 1554 (p. 199)


(Book IV:)

Frassetti, Girolamo. Bologna, January 4, 1555 (p. 201)

from Frassetti, Girolamo. Bologna, January 15, 1555 (p. 207)

Frassetti, Girolamo. Bologna, January 20, 1555 (p. 212)

Kraffter, Anton. Bologna, January 24, 1555 (p. 213)

from Kraffter, Anton. Bologna, January 25, 1555 (p. 274)

Lenzoni, Francesco. [Bologna?], May 17, 1555 (p. 277)

De Nobili, Uberto and Sermanni, Vincenzo. Firenze, March 13, 1554 (p. 292)


Little is known about the life of Eufrosino Lapini, a churchman native of Florence. In 1560 he founded the Accademia dei Lucidi (cf. M. Maylender, Storia delle Accademie d'Italia, Bologna, 1929, IV, pp. 10-11), where he taught Italian, Latin and Greek. His tutorial activity, however, had begun much earlier, as is evidenced by numerous letters in the present collection addressed to his Italian and German pupils.

A prolific writer, he published translations of ancient and contemporary authors, as well as many pedagogical and devotional works. Lapini's educational interests are especially emphasized by his edition of Della Casa's Galateo (Firenze, 1571), to which he added for the first time a thematic index. He was the author of the pedagogical treatise, the Anassarcho (Firenze, 1571), and of an Italian grammar for foreigners, Institutionum Florentinae linguae libri duo (Firenze, 1574). In 1566 he issued a collection of poems, Le stanze (cf. Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, Roma, 2004, LXIII, pp. 721-724).