Title: Varia conmensuracion para la escultura, y ...
Publisher: Francisco Sanz, Madrid
Publication Date: 1675
Book Condition: Very Good
Folio (270 x 193mm). Separately paginated and titled, , 35pp., [ii], 48pp., [ii], 14pp., 40pp., [iv]. Woodcut portrait of author on title, numerous woodcut illustrations in text. Title printed in red and black, subsequent titles with heraldry of Arphe y Villafañe. 19th-century quarter leather over marbled boards; (title and final leaf browned and remargined, somewhat dampstained and browned lightly throughout, p. 21 mounted, other minor paper repairs, two plates inserted as modern pencil reproductions; worn). Spanish provenance likely until 19th century, ex-libris of Farfan, to front pastedown. Seventh edition with re-engraved original plates and additions by Pedro Enguera; first printed in Seville in 1585. Juan de Arphe y Villafañe, or Arfe, was a Spanish engraver, goldsmith, artist, anatomist and author of German descent. Arphe y Villafañe wrote several books, of the Varia conmensuracion, he is best known. Each of the four parts that comprised this work focused on one of Arphe y Villafañe’s subjects of expertise. The first is a summary of practical geometry based on Euclid and utilized materials in Architecture by Sebastiano Serlio, the geometry of Dürer, and comments to Vitruvius by Danielo Barbaro. It ends with a brief study of sundials and nine boards of geographical coordinates of the Iberian Peninsula. The second part was the first printed text on artistic anatomy dealing with proportions of the body. It contains a large number of woodcuts representing outlines of the whole body or single parts with the measurements. The drawings are reminiscent of Dürer’s figures on proportion, but have been described as more truthful, lifelike and clever. Of interest are two stanzas that specify the following for the ideal female body, translated "Forehead lofty and well proportioned, eyes widely separated, large and piercing, nose neither Roman nor too pointed, lips not very thick nor tightly pressed, mouth scarcely closed, cheeks rounded and well-formed, breast not too prominent and at the proper distance from each other, these make a perfect beauty . her movement should be smooth and even." The third part is responsible for shape and size of animals in relation to the human body, showing a series of mammals and poultry, domesticated and wild animals, including descriptions and prints for each. It treats quadrupeds and birds and contains a large number of illustrations of animals. Although influenced by zoological illustrations of the time, mainly those of Conrad Gessner, the figures were based mostly on Villafañe’s observations, with the exception of that on the rhinoceros, which is a reproduction of the famous woodcut by Dürer from 1515. The fourth part is devoted to architecture and liturgical objects of worship, processional crosses, tabernacles, etc. The first two parts were first published in 1585, but whole work was not completed until 1587. Soon after, the Varia conmensuracion acquired great prestige and became one of well-known technical texts of the sixteenth-century. Between 1675 and 1795, the Varia conmensuracion was reprinted five times with various additions and corrections. Immensely popular, rare and only reprints found in institutional US locations. Brunet V, 1223. Bookseller Inventory # D6209
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