Giudizio degli antichi poeti sopra la moderna censura di Dante, attribuita ingiustamente a Virgilio; con li Principi del buon gusto, ovvero Saggio di critica, poema inglese del sig. Pope ora per la prima volta fatto italiano da Gasparo Gozzi

Autore: GOZZI, Gasparo (1713-1786)

Tipografo: [Antonio Zatta]

Dati tipografici: Venezia, 1758

4to (324x241 mm). 18, [2], 55, [1 blank], 72 pp. Collation: *10 A-C8 D42A-2C8 D12. Engraved frontispiece by A. Baratti after F. Scagiaro; title page in red and black with an engraved vignette in the center printed in blue; engraved initials, headpieces and ornaments by F. Scagiaro, G. Magnini, G. Zompini and M.S. Giampiccoli. The name of the typographer, Antonio Zatta, appears in the dedication. At l. 2A1r begins I Principi del buon gusto ovvero saggio di critica poema inglese del sig. Pope ora per la prima volta fatto italiano da Gasparo Gozzi. Contemporary vellum over boards, lettering piece on spine, red sprinkled edges. On the front pastedown bookplate of Luigi & Sandra Morandi. Some light spotting, but a very fresh and wide-margined copy.


Original edition. “When in December of that year [1757] (but dated 1758) S. Bettinelli published his Lettere virgiliane containing a critic of Dante's poetry, Gozzi, who had been able to read the pamphlet before its publication and had been for a long time a promoter of the study of Dante at the Accademia dei Granelleschi, felt compelled to respond to this attack also on behalf of his fellow members. He thus composed the Giudizio degli antichi poeti sopra la moderna censura di Dante attribuita ingiustamente a Virgilio (known as Difesa di Dante), published in Venice by the publisher Zatta in March 1758 together with a translation by Gozzi himself, from a French version, of A. Pope's Essay on criticism. The book, polemically resuming the scheme of the Virgiliane, is divided into three letters that Gozzi pretends were sent by A.F. Doni to Zatta; the letters are interspersed with a dialogue between Virgil and Doni, a conversation between Virgil, Aristophanes and other poets, and a dissertation on the art of the ‘Commedia' by the sixteenth-century Dante scholar Trifone Gabriele; the discussion is concluded by the myth of Orpheus exposed by Aristophanes. Certainly, the text, despite the incisiveness of many passages, does not stand up to comparison with Bettinelli's provocative, but brilliant critique, which had good game in demolishing the slavish imitation of the classics by attacking Dante. However, Gozzi's arguments, although dictated by common sense and moderation rather than by a consistent method, are not comparable to the superficial defences of other eighteenth-century apologists of Dante” (D. Proietti, Gozzi, Gasparo, in: "Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani", LVIII, 2002, s.v.).


Morazzoni, p. 235; Gamba, p. 128; Melzi, I, p. 460.