Vita del gran Michelagnolo Buonarroti scritta da M. Giorgio Vasari, pittore et architetto aretino. Con le sue magnifiche essequie stategli fatte in Fiorenza dall’Accademia del Disegno

Autore: VASARI, Giorgio (1511-1574)

Tipografo: Heirs of Bernardo I Giunta

Dati tipografici: Florence, 1568

Formato: in quarto

the rare offprint from the 1568 Vite


4to (211x140 mm). [4], 717 [recte 715]-796 pp. Collation: [π]2, Ssss-Zzzz4 AAaaa-DDddd4 EEeee2. Lacking the last leaf (EEeee2) bearing the register, the colophon, and the printer's device. Architectural title border (the same as in the 1568 Giunta edition of Le Vite) with putti, the Medici arms at the top, and a view of Florence at the bottom. Large decorated initial ‘H' on l. [π]2r. Woodcut medallion portrait of Michelangelo within an architectural border on l. Ssss1r. 17th-century stiff vellum with inked title on spine. On front flyleaf the purchase note: “Comprato da me G. Francesconi a Roma il Dicembre del 1865” (‘Bought by me G. Francesconi in Roma on December 1865'). On title page the ownership entry “”. Foxed throughout, some stains to the lower margin as well as upper margin towards the end, lower margin cut short but with no loss of text. All in all a good, genuine copy.

EXTREMELY RARE OFFPRINT from the 1568 edition of Vasari's Vite. The typesetting is that of the Vite with the same page numbering and signatures, apart from the additional title page and dedication leaf included at the front and a new half sheet EEeee (missing here) at the end which contains a new setting of the last two pages from the Vite, with a type-ornament tailpiece, a register, the Giunta device and the colophon. In the dedication to Alessandro de' Medici (the future Pope Leo XI), dated 6 February 1567, Vasari writes that many people wanted to have the biography of Michelangelo (who had died in 1564) separate from the volumes of the Vite.

This is probably the first example of an offprint from a major work. The date of the dedication (1567, according to the Florentine calendar) is corrected to 1568 in some copies to make it match the date appearing on the title and in the colophon.

Edit 16, CNCE55530; D. Decia, I Giunti tipografi editori di Firenze 1497-1570, Florence, 1978-1979, no. 407; E. Steinmann & R. Wittkower, Michelangelo Bibliographie. 1510-1926, Leipzig, 1927, no. 1966a (“äusserst selten”); Comolli, II, 320; Mortimer, no. 517; U. Procacci, Di un estratto della vita di Michelangiolo dall'edizione giuntina del 1568 delle ‘Vite' del Vasari, in: “La Bibliofilia”, 32, 1930, pp. 448-450; B.H. Breslauer, The Origin of Offprints, in: “The Book Collector”, 6, 1957, p. 403.