Il re Torrismondo tragedia...

Autore: TASSO, Torquato (1544-1595)

Tipografo: Girolamo Discepolo ad instantia di Marc'Antonio Palazzolo [Girolamo Discepolo ad instantia di Marc'Antonio Palazzolo]

Dati tipografici: Verona, 1587

Formato: in ottavo

8vo (178x110 mm). [8], 56 leaves. Signatures: a8, A-G8. Palazzolo's device on the title page, woodcut decorated initials. Some foxing and browning, book block partially detached from spine. 17th-century vellum over boards, lettering piece on spine, sprinkled edges, ink title on the lower edge (stained, marginal repairs). On the title page ownership's inscription “Victoris Algaroti phisicj”, i.e. the physician Vittorio Algarotti (1533-1604), one of the most strenuous advocates of the use of antimony and first to introduce into therapy the oxychloride, a crystalline powder called by him pulvis angelicus and known up to the present day as Algarotti powder.

Presumably second edition of this celebrated tragedy in five acts in verse, whose first edition was printed in Bergamo, in 4to format, also in 1587. The present Verona edition bears, before the original dedication by Tasso to Vincenzo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, a new dedication addressed by the editor Marco Antonio Palazzolo to Ettore Pedemonte. The tragedy was so successful that only in the year 1587 ten editions were issued in different north Italian towns: Ferrara, Mantua, Venice, Cremona, Genoa, and Bologna.

The first part of the tragedy had been previously published with the title Tragedia non finita (‘Unifinshed Tragedy') in the Rime issued in Venice by Aldus Manutius the Younger in 1582. The definitive version was completed by Tasso around 1586.

“A much more celebrated imitation of Sophocles' Oedipus, and the best-known Gothic tragedy in the sixteenth century, is Torquato Tasso's Il re Torrismondo, first printed at Bergamo, Mantua, Turin, Ferrara, Verona, and Venice in 1587, but written earlier, perhaps started as early as 1573, right after he finished his dramatic masterpiece, the pastoral Aminta. As is well known, Tasso was plagued thoughout his literary life by the quarrel between Ancients and Moderns, between classicism and romanticism. By 1587 the classicists had won and Tasso was brought into subjection, though no Aristotelian criticism could wholly stifle his romantic instincts and his genius for lyric expression… The romantic argument was drawn from the Gothic past of northern Italy. Rosmonda, daughter of the king of the Goths, was fated by the stars to cause the death of her brother Torrismondo, heir to the throne…” (M.T. Herrick, Italian Tragedies in the Renaissance, Urbana, 1965, pp. 228-230).

Edit 16, 32519; Clubb, 826; Bregoli Russo, nr. 587; L. Carpanè, Edizioni a stampa di Torquato Tasso 1561-1994, Bergamo, 1998, I, p. 238; Serassi, p. 576; L. Carpanè & M. Menato, Annali della tipografia Veronese del Cinquecento, Baden-Baden, 1994, nr. 273.