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Il libro del Cortegiano, Nuovamente Ristampato
Vinegia: Figlioli di Aldo (Aldus), 1545. A very early and rare printing of Castiglione by Aldus in the original folio format mirroring the 1528 printing. Elaborate Aldine device impressed on the title and at the end on the verso of the colophon leaf. Dedication to Michel de Selva, vescovo di Viseo. Folio, handsomely bound in fine Italian vellum. 122 ff. pp. A beautifully preserved copy, handsome and clean. RARE ALDINE EDITION OF THE CLASSIC LANDMARK IL CORTEGIANO. Castiglione’s great work is one of the most famous books of the Italian Renaissance and represents the highest level of committment to the prince and the new political and social order. The Courtier is the prototype of the courtesy book, written as conversation between members of the court. At the time of its composition Castiglione was at the court of Guidobaldo de Montefeltre and Elizabetta Gonzaga at Urbino, together with Bembo, Giuliano de' Medici, Federico Fregoso and other Renaissance luminaries; members of that court feature as speakers in the conversation. Castiglione, after serving the Sforzas at Milan and the Gonzagas at Mantua, came to the Court of Urbino in 1504 where de Montefeltre and his consort Elizabetta Gonzaga were the center of the most brilliant court in Italy, which counted among its members Bembo, Bibbiena, G. de’Medici and many other eminent men. This brilliant book is based on Castiglione’s experience of life among these dazzling figures. ‘The Courtier’ depicts the ideal aistocrat, and it has remained the perfect definition of a gentleman ever since. It is an epitome of the highest moral and social ideas of the Italian Renaissance and is written in the form of a discussion between members of the court. The fundamental idea that a man should perfect himself by developing all his faculties goes back to Aristotle’s ETHICS and many of the Aristotelian virtues reappear---honesty, magnanimity and good manners. The ideal man should also be proficient in arms and games, be a scholar and connoisseur of art; he should develop graceful speech and cherish a sense of honour. Relations between the prince and the courtier, forms of government, and rules for the conduct of a lady are also discussed and the book ends with the celebrated pronouncement on platonic love by Bembo. This Renaissance ideal of the free development of individual faculties and its rules of civilized behaviour formed a new conception of personal rights and obligations in Europe. The book was translated into most European languages and between 1528 and 1616 no less than one hundred and eight editions were published. It had great influence in Spain where traces of it can be found in DON QUIXOTE and in France in Corneille’s writings. But its most potent influence was probably in England. Its influence can be seen in Shakepeare, Spenser, Ben Jonson, Sir Philip Sidney, Robert Burton and Shelley. It had a great impact on the development of English drama and comedy. The beautiful and highly important printings of the house of Aldus are exceptional and revered in their own right. This, one of the most exceptional of Italian Renaissance works published by the great Renaissance printer of Italy.
      [Bookseller: Buddenbrooks, Inc.]
Last Found On: 2013-07-25           Check availability:      Biblio    


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