[...] Opera. Cum quatuor commentariis & figuris nuper additis

Autore: HORATIUS FLACCUS, Quintus (65-8 a.C.)

Tipografo: Donnino Pinzi

Dati tipografici: Venezia, 5 febbraio 1405 [i.e.1505]


FIRST ILLUSTRATED HORACE PRINTED IN ITALY

 

Folio (295x205 mm). 266 [i.e. 276], [4] leaves. Leaves 189-198 repeated in numbering. The last leaf is a blank. Collation: a10 b-y8 z10 &10 con8 rum8 A-G8. Colophon at l. G4r. Large woodcut illustration on the title page depicting Horace surrounded by his four commentators (Pomponius Porphyrio, Cristoforo Landino, Helenius Acron and Antonio Mancinelli). This woodcut, which is signed with the monogram L of the Florentine engraver Lucantonio degli Uberti, active in the years 1503-1557 in Verona, Venice and Florence, was used again, with a different figure for the author in the center replaced thanks to a movable piece that could be changed at will, in the Suetonius printed by Rossi in 1506 and again, with no changes, in the Ovid's Heroides issued by Zani in 1507. Other large woodcut on l. a2v, 15 smaller woodcut vignettes taken from the Bible of 15 October 1490 and the Livius of 11 February 1493, and 11 larger and more shaded illustrations cut on purpose for this edition, 5 of which have the same monogram L of Lucantonio degli Uberti which appears on the title page. Several decorated woodcut initials on black ground. Modern vellum, original gilt and gauffered edges. Some light browning, stain to the upper margin of the last 15 leaves, a good copy.

 

FIRST ILLUSTRATED EDITION of Horace's work printed in Italy (the first ever accompanied by illustrations is that printed in Strasbourg by Johann Grüninger in 1498), often mistaken for an incunable because of the misprint in the colophon date. The text is surrounded by the commentaries of four classical Horatian commentators, Pomponius Porphyrio, Cristoforo Landino, Helenius Acron and Antonio Mancinelli, which were first published all together in 1498 and subsequently reprinted several times.

“Among the attested wood carvings by Lucantonio degli Uberti, one of the earliest and most interesting, in that the characteristics of his style stand out with great evidence and originality, is the one signed L, from the Horatius, Opera, 1505 (Donnino Pincio) depicting a poet among his commentators […] In addition to the beautiful heads (in particular that of the poet, which stands out against the black background of the very elegant dossal) and the decorative value of the black parts (the chair and the commentators' desks, on which classical ornaments stand out in white), it is worth noting the extreme sobriety of the composition, which, in the simple juxtaposition of the five figures, without any hint of floor or walls, as if they were in an abstract environment, achieves effects of severe, plastic grandeur and sculptural relief” (Rava, p. 31).

 

Essling, 1165; Sander, 3457; T. De Marinis, Il castello di Monselice, p. 60; Edit 16, CNCE22676; Schweiger, I, p. 389; Rava, p. 34; Goff, H-457; Hain, 8892.


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