Il Decamerone di M. Giovanni Boccaccio, nuovamente stampato, con un raccoglimento di tutte le sentenze, in questa sua opera da lui usate. Aggiunteci le annotationi di tutti quei luoghi, che di queste cento novelle da Monsig. Bembo, [...] sono stati nelle sue prose allegati

Autore: BOCCACCIO, Giovanni (1313-1375)

Tipografo: Guillaume Rouillé

Dati tipografici: Lyon, 1555

Formato: in sedicesimo

16mo (122x69 mm). 932, [26] pp. Lacking the last blank leaf. Collation: a-z8 A-Z8 Aa-Oo8. Leaf a8r is a blank. Printer's device on title page. Boccaccio's woodcut portrait on l. a8v and 10 woodcut vignettes in text by Pierre Eskreich, better known as Pierre Vase. The illustrations had already been used for the French edition of the Decamerone printed by Rouillé in 1551. On the title page some manuscript capital letters and the note “Sub scuto Veneto”. 17th-century red French morocco, panels framed with concentric gilt fillets, gilt spine with four raised bands, inside gilt dentelles, gilt edges (spine worn, front panel slightly stained). Small hole on title page affecting a few words of text on recto and on verso, which contains the privilege (the missing letters are supplied in a neat old hand), small tear to pages 177/178 without any loss, title page soiled, slightly and uniformly browned. A nice copy, ruled throughout in red and nicely bound.

RARE first edition published in France of the original Italian version of Boccaccio's Decameron. This edition was printed in pocket size with tiny roman and italic types by Guillaume Rouillé, who had issued a French translation of the work in 1551. The text is based on the 1527 Giunta edition revised by the Florentine philologist, theologian and mathematician Francesco Giuntini (1523-1590).

The publisher Guillaume Rouillé (c. 1518-1588) published over seventy books in Italian at the Sign of Venice in Lyons, starting with an Italian translation of De viris illustribus urbis Romae. These were addressed not only to Italians residing in France, but also to the many Frenchmen who had learned Italian over the course of war, study, or business. Rouillé had apprehended the book business in Venice with Giovanni and Gabriele Giolito and had established himself at Lyons in 1543. His book production exceeded that of Robert Estienne, Gryphius and de Tournes, and his learning at least equalled theirs. His firm gained a European reputation and his books were also sold in Antwerp, Frankfurt, Medina del Campo, Saragossa, as well as in Venice and Naples (cf. N. Zemon Davis, Publisher Guillaume Rouillé, Businessman and Humanist, in: “Editing Sixteenth Century Texts. Papers given at the Editorial Conference University of Toronto”, R.J. Schoeck, ed., Toronto, 1966, pp. 72-112).

Rouillé dedicated his Italian Decamerone to Marguerite du Bourg, dame du Cange, the wife of a high French financial officer and a very learned lady, to whom he also later dedicated his 1558 edition of Petrarch (cf. M.-M. Fontaine, ‘Un couer mis en gage'. Pontus de Tyard, Marguerite du Bourg et le milieu lyonnais des années 1550, in: “Nouvelle Revue du XVIe siècle”, 1984/2, p. 76-77).

Luca Antonio Ridolfi (1510-1570), who had already collaborated with Rouillé on his edition of Petrarch (1550) and whose dialogue Aretefila had been published by Rouillé (1560), contributed to the edition with a life of Boccaccio (Vita di M. Giovanni Boccaccio brevemente descritta) and with a final index of the best sentences contained in the work (Raccoglimento di tutte le sentenze) (cfr. E. Giudici, Luc'Antonio Ridolfi et la Renaissance Franco-Italienne, in: “Quaderni di Filologia e Lingue Romanze”, n.s. 1, Rome, 1985, pp. 115-150).

Another particular point of interest is a letter by Jean Baptiste Dufour, included in the volume (pp. 927-932), which mentions several French noblewomen (Marguerite de France, Mme de Montpensier, Diane de France, and others), who were lovers of the Italian language and literature (cf. J. Balsamo, L'italianisme lyonnais et l'illustration de la langue française, in: “Lyon et l'illustration de la langue française à la Renaissance”, Lyon, 2003, pp. 211-229).

Mostra di manoscritti, documenti e edizioni: VI centenario della morte di Giovanni Boccaccio, Firenze, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, 22 maggio-31 agosto 1975, Certaldo, 1975, II, nr. 121; Edit 16, CNCE6337; Adams, B-2155; A. Bacchi della Lega, Serie delle edizioni delle opere di Giovanni Boccaccio, Bologna, 1875, p. 42; Baudrier, IX, 222; Gamba, 178; R. Brun, Le livre français illustré de la Renaissance, Paris, 1969, p. 137; R. Cooper, Le cercle de Lucanotnio Ridolfi, L'emergence littéraire des femmes à Lyon à la Renaissance, St.-Estienne, 2008, pp. 42-43; È. Pico, Le français italianisant, Paris, 1906, II, pp. 20-26.