Disegno … partito in piu ragionamenti, ne quali si tratta della scoltura e pittura; de colori, de getti, de modegli …

Venice, appresso Gabriel Giolito di Ferrarii, 1549.

12mo (150 x 95 mm.), ff. 63, [1], printed in Giolito’s attractive italic type; with his woodcut printer’s device on title-page and a different and larger version of the device on final leaf verso, a handful of historiated woodcut initials; a very good and crisp copy in 18th century Italian vellum, gilt lettered label to spine, pale blue edges.


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First edition of an important art theoretical text by the polyglot scholar Anton Francesco Doni wo discusses the Renaissance concept of disegno in contomporary sculpture and painting. The book is divided into two parts, the first consists of six essays discussing disegno, the second prints a handul of letters Doni wrote to scholars and artists discussing contemporary works of art.

Doni’s Disegno is ‘important for a number of quotes given by Michelangelo and printed here for the first time’ (Wittkower). In several of the letters Doni discusses contemporary artists and especially Michelangelo’s sculpture with his correspondents.

Doni also had access to the unpublished treatise, Libro del Disegno by Michelangelo’s great rival Baccio Bandinelli (see Vasari), and incorporates a number of Bandinelli’s views in his text. Bandinelli is referred to throughout the book as ‘il cavaliere’. The last chapter in Doni’s Disegno is entirely given over to Bandinelli where he discusses art patronage, the paragone between painting and sculpture, aand the proportions of the human head (ff.39-44). Bandinelli’s Libro del Disegno was only published in 2004.

Cicognara 114; Wittkower/Steinmann, Michelangelo Bibliographie (1927), no. 570; Bestermann, Old Art Books, p. 31; Schlosser-Magnino, p. 245-6.

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