Title: Le Prime Imprese del Conte Orlando di M. ...
Publisher: Apresso Gabriel Giolito de Ferrari, Venice
Publication Date: 1572
Book Condition: Very Good
, 212pp. Woodcut engraved printer’s device of Ferrari depicting the sun and a phoenix with motto "Semper Eadem" (Always the Same). Full-page woodcut engraved portrait of Ludovico Dolce within frame decorated with his heraldry and lower vignette of unicorn by the stream. Woodcut framed chapter titles, framed vignettes and historiated initials, illustrations are all scenes from the romance of Orlando, and all begin the twenty-five Cantos of the text. Contemporary limp vellum binding, (hinges split, spine partly perished, covers wormed at hinge). Formerly in the Collection of the Bibliotheca Heberiana (stamp on front endpaper), the library of Richard Heber (1773-1833), English book-collector whose library was described by Sir Walter Scott as "superior to all others in the world." Heber had also been described as "the fiercest and strongest of all the bibliomaniacs," a man who travelled extensively for his rare finds. Dolce’s ‘Orlando,’ a chivalric romance published posthumously in 1572, at one time in the famous early 19th-century library of Richard Heber. Dolce was an Italian literary critic, editor and translator of classical epics and chivalric romances. More importantly he was a poet who sought to discuss his own elegiac contributions in relation to these genres. Dolce took part in several major literary polemics that rocked the sixteenth century and was integral in developing the genre of literary criticism. Dolce’s Prime imprese, published posthumously in 1572, reflects the tastes of post-Tridentine Italy. In it, the emphasis of Orlando’s tale is no longer on romance, but on fighting for the faith and morality is of prime importance. Dispensing wisdom was Dolce’s highest aim in creating this work that forms an ideal prince in Orlando, but through which he highlighted his hero’s youth and good deeds. This copy remaining in good form and retaining it’s authentic Italian vellum binding. The rich, ornate illustrations are a testament to Renaissance printmaking and surely appealed to the refined eye of Mr. Heber. Bookseller Inventory # D7183
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