Vita di M. Triphone Gabriele: nella quale si mostrano apieno le lodi della vita soletaria et contemplativa

Autore: GABRIELE, Trifone (1470-1549)

Tipografo: Bartolomeo Bonardo & Antonio Grossi

Dati tipografici: Bologna, December 20, 1543

4to (150x102 mm). [8] leaves. Collation: A-B4. Later boards. On the front pastedown bookplate of Sergio Colombi. On the front flyleaf manuscript note in pencil by the bookseller Giuseppe Martini “Acquistato da Dante Cavallotti Firenze, 7 maggio 1929”. Some light marginal spots, but a fine, nearly untrimmed copy.

VERY RARE FIST EDITION of this document in which Gabriele exposes to his nephew and heir, Giacomo (ca. 1510-ca. 1550), the reasons for what he chose the kind of life he followed: the retirement from public life and pursuit of studies. It is also an apology of contemplative life (cf. D. Parker, Commentary as social act: Trifone Gabriele's critique of Landino, in: “Renaissance Quarterly”, XLV, 1992, p. 236). The booklet was published with a dedication from Giacomo to Trifone Benci as Lo Intricato, dated December 1543 from the ‘Studi di Bologna'. It is extant in manuscript form as M. Trifon Gabriele ad un suo nipote (see ms. Vat. lat. 5182, ll. 219r-223v), and was reprinted in Giacomo Gabriele's astronomical work, Dialogo della sfera (leaf 27v ff), and again separately in Venice in 1554.

Trifone Gabriele was one of the most important personalities of the Venetian culture of the sixteenth century, leaving a profound mark on the formation of intellectuals of the caliber of Antonio Brocardo, Gasparo Contarini, Bernardino Daniello, Giason De Nores, Vettor Soranzo, Sperone Speroni, Bernardo Tasso and Agostino Valier, only to quote the most famous and illustrious. In particular, based on the statements of the period, Gabriel was, with his close friend Pietro Bembo, one of the great promoters of vernacular language and philosophy in the Renaissance. Gabriel was also famous among his contemporaries for not having left anything written: for this reason, he was called the “new Socrates”. Already at the close of the century Trifone expressed his wish to dedicate himself to a contemplative life. In January 1499 he was appointed by Pope Alexander VI coadjutor of Augustine bishop of Argos and his successor; but in 1504, when the office became vacant, he refused it, and the same thing happened in 1524 for the patriarchate of Venice and in 1527 with the bishopric of Treviso(cf. M. Sgarbi, Il Socrate Veneziano: Trifone Gabriele,in: “Historica Philosophica”, 13, 2015, pp. 11-32; see also L. Fortini, Tra Venezia e Roma: intorno a Bembo, Trifon Gabriele e altri, in: “Roma nella svolta tra Quattro e Cinquecento”, S. Colonna, ed., Rome, 2004, pp. 109-111).

On the recto of the last leaf is printed Gabriele's epitaph composed by himself: “Contento vissi di poco una piccola vita, / Senza mai pace rompere, senza grave / Alcun errore. Ma se cosa empia volli, / Non chiedo, che tu terra benigna sij”. And on the verso a sonnet by Pietro Bembo (cf. Pietro Bembo, Prose e rime, C. Dionisotti, ed., Turin, 1966, p. 606).

Edit 16, CNCE54414 (2 copies); Universal STC, no. 800947; E.A. Cicognara, Delle iscrizioni Veneziane,Venice, 1830, III, p. 217; G. Melzi, Dizionario di opere anonime e pseudonime di scrittori italiani, Milan, 1859, III, p. 243.