Trattato di meser Giovanni Della Casa, nel quale sotto la persona d’un vecchio idiota ammaestrante un suo giovanetto si ragiona de modi, che si debbono o tenere, o schifare nella comune conversatione, cognominato Galatheo

Autore: DELLA CASA, Giovanni (1503-1556)

Tipografo: Valerio Meda e fratelli per Giovanni Antonio degli Antoni

Dati tipografici: Milano, 1559

Formato: in ottavo

First separate edition

8vo (162x96 mm). 44. Leaves. Collation: A-E8 F4. Printer's device on title page and at end. Elegant, richly gilt 20th-century light brown leather, panels with large centrepiece framed by concentric frames, one of which is rhomboidal, spine with five raised bands and gilt title, gilt edges. A nice copy.

FIRST SEPARATE EDITION of the famous Galateo by Giovanni Della Casa, first printed in the miscellaneous volume Rime et prose issued in Venice by Nicolò Bevilacqua in 1558. The treatise enjoyed immense success and was translated into all major languages. The early editions contain the first version of the text. Della Casa worked on a revision of it which was published by G. Cugnoni in Rome only in 1889 (cf. A. Santosuosso, The bibliography of Giovanni della Casa, Florence, 1979, p. 75).

The Galateo is one of the most famous and influential courtesy books of the 16th century. It was written by Della Casa between 1551 and 1555 in the form of advice given by an old gentleman to a young student, “et qui passa longtemps pour le livre en prose italienne le mieux écrit après le Decameron de Boccace” (J. Balsamo, De Dante à Chiabrera, p. 211). The Galateo was named after Galeazzo Florimonte, Bishop of Sessa, with whom Della Casa had long conversations in 1550 on such topics and who first suggested to him that he should write the treatise (cf. S. Carrai, Introduzione, in: “G. Della Casa, Rime et prose-Latina monimenta”, Rome, 2006, pp. I-XXXII).

Santosuosso, op. cit., no. 20; Edit 16, CNCE16462; Adams, C-813; Gamba, 283; G. Bologna, ed., Le cinquecentine della Biblioteca Trivulziana, Milan, 1965, I, no. 120.


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