Le Lettere [...] Sopra le dieci giornate del Decamerone. Di M. Giovanni Boccaccio
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Le Lettere [...] Sopra le dieci giornate del Decamerone. Di M. Giovanni Boccaccio

Autore: SANSOVINO, Francesco (1521-1583)

Dati tipografici: [Venezia] [Baldassare Costantini], 1543


Small 4to. (4), 83 [i.e. 79] leaves. *4, A-V4 (-V4, a blank?). Old vellum, annotations by a contemporary hand in the index and at the beginning of numerous letters summarizing their content.

Basso, p. 66; Edit 16, CNCE 59620; Quondam, pp. 311-312.

 

ORIGINAL EDITION of Sansovino's first extensive and original work. The volume is dedicated to the bishop of Saluzzo, Alfonso de' Tornabuoni, and contains 107 letters.

Among the recipients are some outstanding personalities of the time such as Bartolomeo Ammanati, Pietro Aretino, Annibal Caro, Bernardino Daniello, Lodovico Dolce, Donato Giannotti, Benedetto Varchi, and Giorgio Vasari (cf. E. Carrara, Francesco Sansovino letterato e intendente d'arte, in: “Arte Veneta”, 59, 2002, pp. 229-238).

Of the few extant copies of this rare work several different issues are known. The earliest one is certainly that dated 1542 with the printer's device on the title-page. Another stage is represented by copies also dated 1542 but without the printer's device. These are followed by copies dated MDLIII (1543) in which the third “I” in the date is printed over the dot at the end of the pre-existing MDLII. (1542) date.

A puzzle are also the last two signatures V and X. In our copy the last leaf in signature T (T4) is foliated 76, whereas the foliation in the first leaf (V1) of the following signature jumps to 81. Originally in the present issue leaf V4 was probably a blank, whereas in the earlier version it contained on the verso Costantini's mark. At a later moment Sansovino, unhappy with the many errors in the text, had printed on leaf V4, now foliated 84, some eighteen errata and a short address to the reader on the recto, and the correct readings of several passages on the verso. These are continued on leaf X1 (recto and verso) and on leaf X2 (only recto). There follows another address to the reader on the recto of the same leaf, which continues on the verso and on the recto of leaf X3. Leaf X4 was probably a blank in the issue without the printer's mark on the title-page, while in the version with the mark its verso was printed (to our copy, identical to the one in the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana which is, however, dated 1542, we have added the whole signature X in photo states).

In the first address to the reader Sanvino remarks that he leaves it to the discretion of the reader to correct the many orthographical errors, while in the second address he accuses a not identified Florentine enemy of his, employed by the printer Costantini to correct his text while he was away from Venice, of deliberately mauling it to such an extend that he no longer recognized it. There are furthermore variants in the errors of the foliation and various changes or omissions in the text, which are described in detail by C. Roaf (see F. Sansovino, Le lettere sopra le dieci giornate del Decamerone di M. Giovanni Boccaccio, Bologna, 2003, pp. XXIX-XLIII).

The work is only loosely connected to the Decameron, it has the same division into ten days and every letter corresponds to one of Boccaccio's novels, but the theme of the letters not always corresponds to that in the novels. “Ben diverso è il taglio delle Lettere sopra le dieci giornate del Decamerone di M. Giovanni Boccaccio di Francesco Sansovino. Il titolo risponde assai poco al contenuto, in quanto solo episodicamente si parla del Boccaccio. In realtà Sansovino costruisce il libro sul proprio carteggio privato, caratterizzato da un pacato discorrere morale sulle proprie cose e le cose del mondo, secondo un'idea di lettera familiare nobilmente riflessiva, che è del resto la media di tutta l'epistolografia cinquecentesca. La divisione in dieci giornate intende probabilmente fare dell'epistolario un ritratto realistico di uomini e fatti, non in forma diegetica (come in Boccaccio) ma secondo le specificità del nuovo istrumento, attuale e moderno, della lettera risentita e seriamente atteggiata in penose analisi (che riguardano anche letteratura, filosofia, teologia, arti figurative, problemi editoriali, ecc.)” (G. Da Pozzo, Il Cinquecento, Milano, 2006, p. 1222).

 

Campesano, Alessandro (l. 1r)

Manetti, Antonio (l. 2r)

Thiene, Marco da (l. 3r)

Frate Ottaviano de S. (l. 3v)

Marchesana di Carrara [Pappafava, Lucrezia?] (l. 4r)

Pagnini, Sante (l. 6v)

Dalla Pieve, Goro (l. 7r)

Aretino, Pietro (l. 8r)

Re de Romani [Ferdinand I of Habsburg] (l. 9r)

Tornabuoni, Simon (l. 10r)

Madonna Costanza G. (l. 11v)

Gondi, Girolamo (l. 11v)

Lioni, Lodovico (l. 13r)

Bonfadio, Jacopo (l. 13r)

Botti, Simone (l. 13r)

Di Martino, Piero (l. 14r)

Malipiero, Ottaviano (l. 14v)

Medici, Vieri de' (l. 15r)

Fausto da Longiano, [Sebastiano] (l. 16r)

Cattani, Rocco (l. 17r)

Platone, Francesco (l. 17v)

Lanciarotta, Polisena (l. 18r)

Migli, Gian Francesco. Firenze, August 10, 1541 (l. 18v)

Quirino, Zaccheria. Bologna, March 26, 1541 (l. 19r)

Giustiniano, Francesco (l. 19v)

Priolo, Francesco (l. 21r)

Bardi, Luigi de' (l. 12v)

Dolce, Lodovico (l. 26r)

Rimbotti, Carlo (l. 27v)

Bianco, Jacopo (l. 29r)

Pompei, Giulio (l. 29v)

Franchini, Cesare (l. 31r)

Benivieni, Beatrice (l. 32r)

Rangone Pallavicina, Argentina (l. 32v)

Scapucci, Cosimo (l. 34r)

Rigogli, Antonio (l. 34v)

Solico, Aurelio (l. 35v)

Flischi, Scipion de' (l. 36v)

Allegretti, Antonio (l. 37r)

Daniello, Bernardino (l. 38r)

Alberghetti, Cesare (l. 39r)

Badoaro, Federico (l. 40r)

Segni, Fabio (l. 40v)

Madonna Antonia di M. (l. 41r)

Coccio, Francesco (l. 41v)

[Vasari] Aretino, Giorgio (l. 62v)

Vallubio, Antonio (l. 43r)

Dini, Agostino (l. 43v)

Pasqualigo, Marin (l. 44v)

Martelli, Vincenzo (l. 45v)

Lioni, Francesco (l. 46r)

Lotti, Lorenzo (l. 46v)

Alamanni, Giambattista (l. 47r)

Romano, Porzio Lucilio (l. 48r)

Lucrezia B. (l. 48v)

Manuzi, Manuzio (l. 48r)

Accorambono, Felice (l. 50v)

Genga, Bartolomeo (l. 51r)

Martelli, Sigismondo (l. 52r)

Giallo, Jacopo (l. 52v)

Angeni, Filippo (l. 54r)

Frescobaldi, Paolo (l. 54v)

Baccelli, Girolamo (l. 54v)

Franchini, Lattanzio (l. 55r)

Taddei, Giovanni (l. 55r)

Colomba, Faustina della (l. 55v)

Bartolini, Bartolomeo (l. 56r)

Fabrini, Piero (l. 57r)

Antinori, Amerigo (l. 57v)

Veniero, Domenico (l. 58v)

Botti, Matteo (l. 58v)

Tornabuoni, Alfonso de' (l. 59r)

Martini, Luca (l. 59v)

Dini, Pietro (l. 60r)

Soncini, Domenico (l. 60r)

Ammanati, Bartolomeo (l. 60v)

Madonna Francesca de L.F. (l. 61r)

Da Lucca, Antonio (l. 61r)

Giannotti, Donato (l. 62r)

[Grazzini, Antonfrancesco] called Il Lasca (l. 62v)

Petrarci, [Francesco] (l. 63r)

Belfratelli, Odoardo (l. 64r)

Lomellino, Benedetto (l. 65v)

Alle valorose e piacevoli donne (to the valiant and gracious ladies) (l. 66r)

Montevarchi, [Antonio] Francesco da (l. 67v)

Pitti, Lorenzo (l. 67v)

Cavalcanti, Bernardo (l. 68r)

Madonna Fiammetta de F. (l. 68v)

Grimaldi, Emanuel (l. 69r)

Da Lucca, Lorenzo (l. 69v)

Lottieri, Tommaso (l. 70v)

Torello, Francesco (l. 71r)

Pitti, Jacopo (l. 71v)

Lottini, Apardo (l. 72r)

Armano, Luigi d' (l. 72r)

Agrippa, Pietro (l. 72v)

Broccardo, Fausto (l. 72v)

Alle vedove (to the windows) (l. 73r)

Madonna Costanza S. (l. 73r)

Varchi, Benedetto (l. 73v)

Piccolomini, Alessandro (l. 74v)

Spira, Fortunio (l. 75v)

Caro, Annibal (l. 76r)

Barbaro, Daniello (l. 76v)

Gabrielli, Trifone (l. 81r)

Cornelia degl'Ad. (l. 81v)

Martelli, Sigismondo (l. 82r)

 

Francesco Sansovino was born at Rome to the sculptor Jacopo Tatti (Sansovino). In the aftermath of the Sack of Rome, father and son left Rome for Venice. After a youthful study of letters including Greek, Francesco obeyed his father and studied law in Padua, Florence, and Bologna. Unhappy with law he quarrelled with his father and began to write poetry and imaginative vernacular literature in the 1540's. In 1550 Jacopo, still desirous that his son should travel the road to wealth and position, arranged for an appointment at the papal court. But Francesco disliked courtly intrigue and after a brief period returned to Venice. In 1553 he married a Venetian girl of good but non-noble family and settled down to a tranquil life of study and writing.

Francesco Sansovino typifies the figures who moved in the editorial circles of the period. A polygraph author of poetry, prose writings on literature, history and rhetoric, as well as a translator and editor, Sansovino not only compiled, translated, and annotated text for Venetian printers, he even opened his own printing house, publishing around thirty editions, many of good quality, between 1560-62 and in 1568. Especially his historical works were widely read by his contemporaries. His encyclopaedic description of his adopted city, Venetia, città nobilisima et singolare, descritta in XIIII libri (1581), is a useful source for descriptions of churches, works of art, personalities, famous events, and customs of the time. He also wrote a history of the Turks in Europe, Annali Turcheschi (1568), a history of illustrious Italian families Origini e fatti delle famiglie illustri d'Italia (1582), a treatise in seven books on the art of writing letters Il Secretario (1564, see item no. XXX), as well as a book on the government of kingdoms and republics Del governo dei regni e delle republiche (1561). Sansovino also found time for writing literary criticism, including studies of Dante, Petrarch, Ariosto, Bembo, and Sannazaro (cf. E. Bonora, Ricerche su Francesco Sansovino imprenditore librario e letterato, Venezia, 1994, passim).

 

Sansovino's work is bound together with Letere de diversi eccellentissimi signori a diversi huomini scritte. Libro primo (Venezia, Curzio Traiano Navò, 1542).


Le Lettere [...] Sopra le dieci giornate del Decamerone. Di M. Giovanni Boccaccio