Comentarios de la pintura … se publican por la primera vez con un discurso preliminar y algunas notas de don Antonio Ponz …

Madrid, por Don Geronimo Ortega, hijos de Ibarra Y compania, 1788.

8vo, pp. [2], xiv, 254, a fine copy in contemporary Spanish red morocco, triple gilt fillet border on covers, flat modestly gilt spine divided into compartments and blue label, gilt edges.


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First edition of one of the earliest Spanish treatises on painting, containing the earliest criticism of pre-Columbian art, and the earliest reference to Bosch. Guevara writes extensively about the contributions that the Americas made to art and painting (without ever denigrating it), such as the introduction of specific colours and the novel idea of feather painting. The treatise is also important as an early study on the Flemish school, especially Bosch. The work was originally written in 1560 but remained unpublished until the manuscript was rediscovered by Antonio Ponz Piquer (1725-92) who published it with an introduction for the first time in 1788.

In 1535 Guevara accompanied Charles V on his successful campaign to recapture Tunis and was particularly fascinated by the Flemish artist Jan de Vermeyn who recorded the whole enterprise in paint. Later Guevara travelled to Italy and looked at art and started buying paintings. Felipe de Guevara (1500-1563) assembled an important collection of paintings, especially of the Italian school boasting a Michelangelo and Raphael among his possessions, and the Flemish school. He was very interested in the artist Hieronymus Bosch, owning several of his pictures. King Philip II of Spain acquired these Bosch pictures from the Guevara collection in 1570; they are now in the Prado.

Palau 110413; Cicognara 138.

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