Title: Dell’imprese di Scipion Bargagli . alla ...
Publisher: Appresso Francesco de’ Franceschi Senesa, Venice
Publication Date: 1594
Book Condition: Very Good
4to (200 x 145mm). [xvi (of xxiv)], 573pp. (i.e. 604), [xvi, index]. With separately titled sections for: "Delle lodi dell accademie. Oratione di Scipion Bargagli, M.D.LIX. Riformata . e ristampata": pp. 511-545 and "Orazione di Scipion Bargagli, in morte di monsignor Alessandro Piccolomini . MDLXXIX. Riueduta, e . ristampata": pp. 546-573. Engraved printer’s device of the author and type ornaments on title. Engraved full-page portrait and emblematic dedication page of eagle with motto "Et Profundissima Quaeque."; historiated initials. 138 in-text oval emblem engravings depicting heraldry and symbolic imagery. 17th-century vellum; (title browned, creased, paper and tape repairs, occasionally browned and water-stained, as usual numerous mispaginations). Bargagli’s ‘Imprese,’ a piece of rare, illustrated emblem literature with important discussion of feminine agency in their creation from 1594. Native of Siena, humanist and writer, Scipione Bargagli produced this treatise on Italian emblems, his first book being printed in 1578 (La prima parte dell’imprese (Siena: Luca Bonetti)) and then reprinted in 1589. The second and third parts of the treatise, which Bargagli composed in the 1570’s, were printed in 1594 as in this edition, together with the author’s oration in praise in of the academies (1569) and that for the death of Alessandro Piccolomini, member of the very important Accademia degli Intonati in Siena (1579). In the second half of the sixteenth century, most imprese were created by and commissioned for men: kings, princes, noblemen, and intellectuals of the accademie. It was commonly believed that these devices must reflect men’s expectations and were ultimately created to show a man’s faithfulness and love for a woman. In contrast to this notion, Bargagli devotes sections in his imprese to describe emblems made or commissioned by women and for women. Bargagli attributed the creation of imprese to women’s ingenuity and their ability to find a succinct and elegant way to display their intentions through the beauty of images and a few words. Several of the aristocratic women mentioned in Bargagli’s treatise were involved with literary and intellectual activity at the time including Lucrezia Gonzaga, Isotta Brembata, Ersilia Cortese, Giovanna d’Aragona, and Fulvia Spannocchi. Among the superior collection of emblems, Bargagli’s lengthy discussion states that women’s inferiority does not depend on a mental deficiency but on historical and social factors that brought men to monopolize the public space. Bargagli was one of the few to have sided with this notion. This work is excellent for its rich emblematic imagery and for containing glimpses into women’s art patronage and culture in Renaissance Italy. Bookseller Inventory # D6034
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