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Ragionamento... sopra i motti, & disegni - GIOVIO, Paolo (1483-1552) - 1556. 
Giordano Ziletti, 1556. 8vo. (16), 236 (i.e. 232) pp. With the printer's device on the title-page. 18th century boards, lower blank corner of the title-page repaired, but a fine copy from the library of the Italian scholar Count Leonardo Trissino (1780-1841), with his en-try of ownership dated 1819.FIRST RUSCELLI EDITION of Giovio's im-portant treatise (the first of its kind) on the theory of &lsquo,imprese'. This form of personalized emblem date from the middle of the 15th century in the &lsquo,revers de médailles' of Pisanello. The &lsquo,impresa' was essentially in the same format as the common emblem, but it lacked a subscription and had various peculiar rules of construction. It consisted of a motto and a picture in mutual dependence, neither of which can function meaningfully without the other (cf. D. Drysdall, The Emblem according to the Italian &lsquo,Impresa' Theorists, in: &ldquo,The Emblem in Renaissance and Baroque Europe. Tradition and Variety&rdquo,, A. Adams A.J. Harper, eds., Leiden, 1992, pp. 22-32).Giovio's treatise first appeared a year earlier at Rome under the title Dialogo dell'imprese militari et amorose in a very small edition, &ldquo,bisognerà anche ricordare che la suddetta edizione ebbe solo una circolazione limitatissima, presto esaurita e introvabile, mentre gran parte dei lettori contemporanei si servirono dell'edizione procurata da Girolamo Ruscelli per l'editore Ziletti e più volte ristampata a partire dal 1556&hellip, A questo punto val forse la pena di riferire un curioso parti-colare, finora, credo, non osservato e non inutile per contribuire a mettere in chiaro la situazione edi-toriale, abbastanza intricata, del Dialogo&hellip, Ruscelli, oltre a darci notizie precise sulla tiratura dell'edi-zione romana, dichiara dunque di aver fondato la sua ristampa su un manoscritto di buona lezione e complete (da osservare l'insistenza sull'incompletezza dell'edizione romana, come a convincere il letto-re della genuinità delle addizioni che troverà nella nuova stampa, di cero, invece, frutto di interpolazio-ni dello stesso Ruscelli) ricevuto da Padova da Giovan Antonio Calco (il dedicatario a cui si rivol-ge)&rdquo, (G. Arbizzoni, &lsquo,Un nodo di parole e di cose'. Storia e fortuna delle imprese, Roma, 2002, pp. 13-14, and D. Caldwell, The Sixteenth Century Italian &lsquo,Impresa', in Theory and Practice, Brooklyn, NY, 2004, pp. 22-38).Added is the first edition of Ruscelli's own work on the same subject, which strongly contribu-ted to develop the theoretical debate on the impresa, which after Giovio's death, and in particular between the second half of the sixteenth century and the first half of the seventeenth, was to result in the publication of a great number of treatises, many of which illustrated (G. Arbizzoni, &lsquo,Le imprese il-lustri'. Il genere e la sua storia, in: &ldquo,Girolamo Ruscelli. Dall'accademia alla corte alla tipografia. Atti del Convegno internazionale di studi, Viterbo, 6-8 ottobre 2011, Roma, 2012, pp. 331-360, A. Basso, Incisione calcografica e libro a stampa nella seconda metà del &lsquo,500: &lsquo,Le imprese illustri' di Girolamo Ruscelli e la produzio-ne libraria di Francesco de' Franceschi, Diss., Udine, 1997, D. Caldwell, The Sixteenth-Century Italian &lsquo,Impresa' in Theory and Practice, Brooklyn, NY, 2004, pp. 57-58, and G. Arbizzoni, Giovio e i suoi editori: i primi trattati sulle imprese, in: &ldquo, &lsquo,Un nodo di parole e di cose'. Storia e fortuna delle &lsquo,imprese', Roma, 2002, pp. 11-36).&ldquo,Da questo libretto, non ancora illustrato (ma già nell'edizione lionese del 1559 vengono aggiunte le xiolografie), nasce la fortuna europea del genere: una vera moda, che tramonterà solo a Settecento inoltrato e dopo lunghe discussioni (un primo indice sono le osservazioni del Ruscelli poste a fine vo-lume)&rdquo, (L. Bolzoni, ed., 'Con parola brieve e con figura'. Libri antichi di imprese e emblemi, Lucca, 2004, p. 39, no. 16).Paolo Giovio was born in Como. Because of his father's early death Paolo was brought up by his brother, Benedetto, himself a writer of distinction, of whom he speaks with admiration and affec-tionate gratitude. He took his degree in medicine at Pavia and at first yielded to his brother's kindly insistence that he should justify the expense of his training by practicing that profession, although he was already secretly bent on a literary career. Benedetto's historical works on Como and the Swiss had excited his rivalry and such scholars as Pomponazzi, whom he heard at Padua, and Lodovico Celio and Giasone Maino at Pavia and Milan had increased his enthusiasm for letters. When, therefore, an outbreak of the plague drove him to Rome (probably about 1516) and he found himself free to follow his inclination, and he devoted himself to the writing of history. His ready tongue and pen quickly won the favor of Leo X, who thought (or at least said) that his History of His Own Times was second only to Livy. Leo gave him the rank of cavaliere with a pension. Hadrian VI made him canon of the cathedral of Como, remarking that it was a point in his favor that he was no poet. All the Medici were his friends, &ldquo,by far the surest and strongest safeguards of my life and studies&rdquo,. He was the constant companion of Clement VII with rooms in the Vatican and when that unhappy pontiff fled for his life during the sack of Rome, it was Giovio who flung his own purple cloak over the Pope's too conspicu-ous white robes. His devotion was rewarded the next year by the bishopric of Nocera. Later, in 1530, we find him accompanying Cardinal Ippolito to Bologna for the coronation of Charles V and in 1533 to Marseilles for the marriage of Catherine dei Medici. The Roman Academy had welcomed him with enthusiasm and scholars had honored him with the dedications of their works. Until the fall of Rome his fortunes had prospered. In that catastrophe he lost many of his possessions including some of his manuscripts and retired for a time to the island of Ischia to bewail his calamities. His reputation, too, had begun to wane. The acclaim with which his writings had been received was gradually tempered by the suspicion that his talents were at the service of the highest bidder. Some of the talk was probably, as he would have us believe, the result of ignorance and envy, but his extravagant eulogy of the in-famous Alessandro dei Medici and his careless frankness as to his own attitude toward the subjects of his biographies certainly support the charges. Still he continued to find supporters. For twenty years he enjoyed the favor of Pompeo Colonna and among others to whom he owed benefits and encoura-gement were the Marquis of Pescara and his wife, Vittoria Colonna, Ippolito d'Este, Isabella d'Este, the Marquis del Vasto, Giberti, and Ottavio Farnese. With the accession of Paul III, however, he fell out of favor at the Vatican. Unsuccessful in his efforts to induce the Pope to make him Bishop of Como and disappointed in his hopes of a cardinal's hat, he finally retired to Como and then to Flo-rence, where he died December 11, 1552. He was buried in San Lorenzo and his statue still guards the stairs that lead to the Laurentian library. Probably the occupation that gave Giovio most pleasure in his later years was the building and furnishing of the villa on Lake Como, where he collected the por-traits of famous men, princes, soldiers, prelates, and scholars. Some of the portraits were originals, some were copied from statues, busts, or paintings. They are now scattered and only a few remain in the possession of his family. The copies made by order of Cosimo I may be seen in the Uffizi. Though Giovio left instructions in his will that not so much as a nail should be removed, Boldoni in his Larius (1617) laments the almost complete ruin of the villa. Whatever may be thought of his since-rity, as a writer Giovio commands our interest. If he is far from being Livy's equal, but he shares with his greater countryman the "pictured page". His work and letters are full of vivid descriptions, many of them those of an eye-witness, e.g. the horrors of the sack of Rome, the passionate scenes on the election of Hadrian VI, the plundering of his native Como by the troops of Pescara (cf. T.C. Price Zimmermann, Paolo Giovio, Princeton, 1995, passim, B. Agosti, Paolo Giovio. Uno storico lombardo nella cultura artistica del Cinquecento, Firenze, 2008, passim).Girolamo Ruscelli, of humble origins, was born in Viterbo and became one of the leading edi-tors of the Cinquecento. He was first active in Rome, where he founded the Accademia dello Sdegno together with Tommaso Spica and Giovanni Andrea dell'Anguillara. He later settled in Venice work-ing for such publishers as Sessa and Valgrisi. He was a friend of Bernardo and Torquato Tasso, Lodo-vico Dolce and Pietro Aretino. The last two were to become his rivals in several bitter controversies. He edited the works of Boccaccio, Petrarch and Ariosto and translated Ptolemaeus' treatise on geo-graphy. While in Venice he had contact with other academies (della Fratta, dei Dubbiosi, della Veniera and della Fama), and was interested in issues such as the systematization of the Italian language (cf. P. Procaccioli, &lsquo,Costui chi e' si sia'. Appunti per la biografia, il profilo professionale, la fortuna di Girolamo Ruscelli, in: &ldquo,Girolamo Ruscelli. Dall'accademia alla corte alla tipografia. Atti del Convegno internazionale di studi, Viterbo, 6-8 ottobre 2011&rdquo,, Roma, 2012, pp.13-76, and C. Di Filippo Bareggi, Il mestiere di scrivere: lavoro intellettuale e mercato librario a Venezia nel Cinquecento, Roma, 1988, 78-80, 296-301).Edit 16, CNCE 21204, Adams, G-674, Mundus Symbolicus I. Emblembücher aus der Sammlung Wolf-gang J. Müller in der Universitätsbibliothek Kiel, I. Höpel U. Kuder, eds., (Kiel, 2004), p. 25.
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