PETRARCA, Francesco. Il Petrarca con nuoue, e breui dichiarationi. Insieme vna tauola di tutti i vocaboli, detti, & prouerbi difficili diligentemente dichiarati
In Lyone, appresso Guglielmo Rouillio, 1551
12mo, 123x78mm, 576 pp. ; in a 16th century Lyon strapwork binding in dark brown calf, with gilt symmetric pattern of strapwork design, arabesques and volutes surrounding the monogram “GT” and a dry central oval with slight relief, all contained within single gilt ruled frame, spine with raised bands with ornamental geometric and organic gilt pattern in single gilt rule, sparce remains of red paint; lightly cracking at hinges, rubbed at the corners with very minor repairs, stains affecting the beginning of the work; Rouillé’s device on title page, poems in italic type, commentary and life in roman type. The most complete of Rouillé’s editions, according to Graesse, it includes a woodcut double portrait of Petrarch and of Laura on a8v, at the beginning of the ‘Sonnets’ and six medallion woodcuts in the ‘Triumphs’ inspired by the illustration of Giolito’s 1543 edition.
A collection of Petrarca’s poetry encased in a stunning contemporary Lyonnaise binding, produced in France in the second half of the 16th century. Reminiscent of the style of Jean Grolierand Tommaso Maioli, these elegante bindings were inspired by Italian bindings, extremely fashionable in France and produced by a very small number of skilled artisans in Paris and Lyon to the order of wealthy patrons. Lyonese bindings were usually impressed with a panel stamp, a process that yielded considerable savings in labour with very little lessening of quality, then later painted and enamelled in vibrant colours gilt using gold foil inside the tooling, producing an enchanting contrast with the dark morocco.
An excellent exemplar of Guillaume Rouillé’s body of work, who was one of the most prominent humanist bookseller-printers in 16th-century Lyon, owning a paper mill in addition to his publishing house, for which he held a branch in Paris as well. His press in Lyon produced predominantly humanist works, publishing in conjunction with Macé Bonhomme the emblems of Alciati in French, Italian and Spanish. In this edition, Petrarch’s poems are accompanied by a biography written by Alessandro Vellutello and extensive commentary is provided by the humanist Antonio Brucioli. These run alongside each poem, encapsulating the meaning and clarifying their literal sense, while the Canzoni are accompanied by longer, stanza-by-stanza, expositions.
A rare copy, the USTC records no copies in UK or US libraries.
BMSTC Italian 505; USTC 847847; Edit16 CNCE 30141; Brunet V, 54; Graesse V, 227; Baudrier IX, 175.