Il secondo libro dell'opere burlesche, di M. Francesco Berni. Del Molza, di M. Bino, di M. Lodovico Martelli. Di Mattio Francesi, dell'Aretino, Et di diversi autori. Nuovamente posto in luce, et con diligenza stampato.

BERNI Francesco (1555)


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Woodcut printers device on title page and verso of final leaf (with slight variation), historiated woodcut initial, typographical devices. Italic and Roman type. 

8vo (150 x 100mm). [4], 187, [1]ff. Red morocco, simple gilt fillet border on covers and on inside, spine gilt, with five raised bands and label with gilt-lettered title in second compartment, gilt edges, marbled endpapers (joints cracked). 

Florence, apresso li Heredi di Bernardo Giunti,

The first edition of the second volume of the poetry of Francesco Berni (c.1497-1535) and contemporary burlesque-style poets, dedicated to Alessandro de' Medici. Thought by Brunet to be more complete and better printed than the first volume (1548), this and its companion volume (not present) are very much in the mode of the Giolito anthologies which collected and juxtaposed 'like' writing from contemporary figures for popular consumption. Because they were published several years apart the first and second volumes are most commonly found separately. 

Lending his name to a particular form of burlesque poetry, the bernesque, Francesco Berni focused on the quotidian, the rude, and the downright vulgar, and through his poetry elevated it to semi-heroic status. The other poets in this collection follow suit, with poems in praise of figs; mourning the loss of a cat; celebrating carrots; praising apples, and chestnuts; and lauding mosquitos, among many others. Alongside these satires of quotidian life and objects, Berni wrote acerbic verse targeting some of the best-known figures of the period; the first sonnet in this collection, for example, addressed to Pope Clement VII, begins 'The Pope does nothing but eat,/the Pope does nothing but sleep;/ that's what people say...', proceeding to describe the Pope's doctors who will not rest until they've succeeded in killing him. Much of his most savage language, however, was reserved for Pietro Aretino, with whom he had a bitter rivalry; while his poetry targeting Aretino does not appear here, there is a pleasing irony in the fact that the work of each appears in this volume, if not side by side, in close proximity.

Provenance/Annotation: Neat inked note (possibly shelf or catalogue no.) on front paste-down; quotation from N. F. Haym, Biblioteca Italiana (1771), inscribed on verso of flyleaf in eighteenth-century(?) hand. Sparse marginal annotations in early leaves in brown ink.  

Some light foxing and age-yellowing, more pronounced on title and final leaves, otherwise in very good condition. 

CNCE 5550. BMSTC (Italian), 88. Gamba, 159. Brunet I, 800. Pettas, 326. 

Stock Code: 228097

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