Book Id: 43360 Imagines et elogia viroum illustrium BOUND WITH: Estaco, Aquiles, Inlustrium viror ut exstant in urbe expressi vultus. Fulvio Orsini.
Imagines et elogia viroum illustrium BOUND WITH: Estaco, Aquiles, Inlustrium viror ut exstant in urbe expressi vultus
Imagines et elogia viroum illustrium BOUND WITH: Estaco, Aquiles, Inlustrium viror ut exstant in urbe expressi vultus
Imagines et elogia viroum illustrium BOUND WITH: Estaco, Aquiles, Inlustrium viror ut exstant in urbe expressi vultus

Imagines et elogia viroum illustrium BOUND WITH: Estaco, Aquiles, Inlustrium viror ut exstant in urbe expressi vultus

Publisher Information: Rome: Antoine Lafrery, 1569-1570.

Orsino, Fulvio (1529-1600). Imagines et elogia virorum illustrium et eruditor ex antiquis lapidibus et nomismatib[us] expressa cum annotationib[us] ex bibliotheca Fulvi Ursini. 111pp. Engraved architectural title-page by Andrea Marelli, signed with his monogram; 58 engraved illustrations; 17 woodcut illustrations. Venice: In aedibus Petri Dehuchino, Galli, 1570 [colophon]. Bound with:

Estaço, Aquiles [Achilles Statius] (1524-81). Inlustrium viror ut exstant in urbe expressi vultus. [8]pp., including engraved title-page, plus 52 engraved plates. Rome: Antoine Lafréry, 1569. Additional impression of plate 13, printed on paper with a different watermark and trimmed to the borders, laid in loosely.

Together 2 works. 308 x 217 mm. Gilt-tooled calf over limp boards ca. 1570, holes for ties (not present) in both covers, some rubbing and scuffing, extremities worn. Both title-pages somewhat soiled, a few small wormholes, minor soiling and staining. Very good. Modern bookplates and pencil notes.

First Editions of these two important early studies of classical portraiture. Orsini’s Imagines was the first critically assembled collection and edition of ancient portraiture. Unlike previous works on the subject, Orsini emphasized the original physical state of the portraits illustrated rather than modifying his reproductions of the portraits to fit them into a uniform format. He also illustrated the marbles and coins as objects, sometimes presenting one or more examples of each subject. A special feature of Orsini's work was the large number of headless herms (sculpted heads above a plain lower section) illustrated with inscriptions on their pedestals, making the work first a corpus of epigraphical testimonia to famous and not so famous Greeks and Romans, and secondly a repertory of portraits.

"Not only did Orsini have access to the most extensive epigraphical and iconographic collections in Rome but, more importantly, the critical method he employed in editing texts of classical authors and inscriptions served him well in the authentication of portraits. In making an identification, Orsini sought the evidence of an ancient inscription either directly on the marble or on a coin or medal that could be associated with a marble. He also collected ancient literary sources relating to the physical appearance or to the existence of ancient portraits of individual subjects. He did not hesitate to reject modern inscriptions whether on marble statuary or on gems, and he similarly rejected numismatic forgeries which by the late sixteenth century had flooded the Roman antiques market.

"In the majority of cases, Orsini (or his patron) owned the ancient coins, gems, busts, and statues that served his identifications. Hence, unlike virtually all of his predecessors, Orsini relied on “autopsy” or first-hand experience as a critical method, anticipating the rigorous method of nine teenth-century epigraphers like Theodor Mommsen. Orsini has been called the “father of ancient iconography,” and, indeed, a glance at Gisela Richter’s authoritative Portraits of the Greeks suffices to demonstrate the modern archaeologist’s indebtedness to Orsini for the identification of a surprising number of heads of famous Greeks and Romans "(Dwyer, p. 469).

Estaço’s work, published the year before Orsini’s, is a compilation of notable portraits from antiquity, illustrated with engravings that reproduce sculptures found in collections in and around Rome, each identified by the collection in which the sculpture was found. Estaço was a Portuguese humanist who spent most of his adult life in Rome in the service of various church prelates, including Popes Pius V and Gregorius XIII. He is best known for his extensive Latin commentary on the poems of Catullus. There are two states of this edition of Estaço’s work, with and without letterpress text on p. 111; this copy has the text present. E. Dwyer, “Andreì Thevet and Fulvio Orsini: The beginnings of the modern tradition of classical portrait iconography in France,” The Art Bulletin 75 (1993): 467-480. Mortimer, Italian Sixteenth Century Books, 330 (Orsini), 173 (Estaço).

Book Id: 43360

Price: $10,000.00

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