Della vera poetica libro uno. Al Conte Ulisse Martinengo.

CAPRIANO Giovanni Pietro (1555)


Please contact us in advance if you would like to view this book at our Curzon Street shop.


8-line woodcut initial opening first chapter. 

4to (240 x 143mm). [24 (unnumbered)]ff. Contemporary vellum laid down over renewed boards, refreshed endpapers (vellum marked and holed, newer vellum repairs to edges and corners of lower board). 

Venice: Bolognino Zaltieri, 

First and only edition. The uncommon, sole edition of Brescian humanist and philologist Giovanni Pietro Capriano's (1520-80) critical treatise on Italian poetry. He examines, among others, the poetic form and considers the works of Homer and Virgil - comparing their merits - the compositions of Petrarch, the components of a good poem, 'et molte altre cose importantissime' about the form, known by Aristotle but little known by others.

With this work Capriano contributed to the late stages of the long-running debate, in the Renaissance, over the definition of art, the paragone; though principally concerned with sculpture and painting, poetry and other artistic forms were also, though more tangentially, the subject of discussion. Here "Capriano divides the imitative arts into two classes, the noble and the ignoble. The former appeal to the noble senses of seeing and hearing and have durable products, such as poetry, painting and sculp­ture, the latter for which no examples are given appeal to the three lower senses and produce no lasting works" (Kristeller, p. 510, n. 92). 

This work is dedicated to Count Ulisse Martinengo (1545-1570); though only a boy at the time of Capriano's dedication, Ulisse was unusual in eventually converting to Protestantism during the Reformation, and becoming a Calvinist preacher. Like Capriano originally from Brescia, Martinengo fled to Geneva and eventually settled in the very north of Italy, in the Lombardian Alps. 

Ink spatter to title page, minor worming to fore edge of d3-f2, repaired to f1, not touching text.

Refs: P. O. Kristeller, 'The Modern System of the Arts: A Study in the History of Aesthetics I', Journal of the History of Ideas, 12 (4), Oct. 1951, 496-527.  

CNCE 9265.

(OCLC: US: Cornell, Harvard, Huntington, Indiana, Newberry, Pennsylvania, Yale. Canada: Thomas Fisher. UK: BL, University of Manchester)..

Stock Code: 247472

close zoom-in zoom-out close zoom