Item #4856 Opera Vergiliana. Virgil, B C., Publius Virgilius Maro.
Opera Vergiliana
Opera Vergiliana
Opera Vergiliana
Opera Vergiliana
Opera Vergiliana
Opera Vergiliana
Opera Vergiliana
Opera Vergiliana
Opera Vergiliana
Opera Vergiliana
Opera Vergiliana
Opera Vergiliana
Opera Vergiliana
Opera Vergiliana
Opera Vergiliana
Opera Vergiliana
Opera Vergiliana

Opera Vergiliana

Lyon: Jacobus Saçon for Ciriacus Hochperg, 1517.

Price: $30,000.00

Folio: 30.8 x 21 cm. Collation: Pt. I: 216 lvs. Collation:*10, a-z8, aa-bb8, cc6 (cc6 blank). Pt. II: 324, [20] lvs. Collation: ††8, A-Z8, AA-QQ8, RR-SS6, TT10

FIRST LYON BADIUS EDITION. The third edition with the original woodcuts.

A very fine, complete copy, bound in 17th century French blind-ruled calfskin, the spine ruled and tooled in gold with attractive floral ornaments; red morocco label in second compartment, board edges also tooled in gold. With discreet repairs at the head and foot of spine, some signs of wear to the extremities and boards, corners bumped. Two parts in one volume with titles printed in red and black within fine architectural woodcut borders. Illustrated with 207 large woodcut illustrations (64 in the first part and 143 in the second part.) A full-page woodcut of Virgil with the muse Calliope appears on the recto of †1. Fore-edge of title discreetly strengthened on verso. Owner’s stamp (Emmanuel Michel.) at foot of title, a second stamp on the blank margin of the following leaf., 17th c. inscription on title.

The woodut illustrations were made for Grüninger’s 1502 edition of Virgil (the first illustrated Virgil.) The book, edited by Sebastian Brant, was extraordinary in the number and variety of its illustrations. “Grüninger’s artist applied to the work a skilled hand and a lively imagination… The blocks must have passed to Saçon at Lyon shortly after the printing of the Strasbourg 1515 edition of Thomas Murner’s German translation of the ‘Aeneid,’ described in Murray’s catalogue of German books, vol. 2, no. 426… The block of Virgil and Calliope is from the title page of the 1502 edition.”(Mortimer)

This edition is illustrated with 208 of the original 214 woodcuts made for the 1502 edition. Subsequent to this edition, the number of woodcuts decreased (due to breakage and wear.) In the 1529 edition, for instance, the number had decreased to 196. An entirely new set of woodcuts (copies of the originals, though of lesser quality) was created by the Giunta firm at Venice in 1519.

"The subtle detail of [the] woodcuts would certainly escape the spectator who could not read the text and seem, rather, calculated to appeal to one whose familiarity with the poems would allow him to appreciate precise visual allusions. In several cases, Brant's work incorporates details drawn from the commentators' interpretations. As a humanistic scholar, he is said to have placed the stamp of his own thorough knowledge of Virgil upon the book by providing master sketches for the illustrators."(Eleanor Winsor Leach).

Brunet V 1282; Baudrier vol 12, pp. 344-346; Renouard, Badius Ascensius, vol. 3 p. 370-372, no. 11. Cf. Eleanor Winsor Leach, "Brant's and Dryden's Editions of Virgil" in "The Early Illustrated Book", pp. 176 ff.) and Rabb, Theodore K. "Sebastien Brant and the First Illustrated Edition of Virgil." in "Princeton University Library Chronicle 21", 1960: 187-99.