Padua: Petrumpaulum Tozzium [Pierpaolo Tozzi]: Patavii, apud Petrumpaulum Tozzium, 1616. Hardcover. Very Good. Item #42604
4to. [xliv], 614pp, [ii], 60p. Early patterned boards, later calf spine. Large woodcut arms on title page, folding woodcut plate of the heavens before p. 1, and two full-page and over 100 half-page woodcut illustrations in the text. Title-page a bit spotted and water stained. Some wear to boards at edges, rear joint split but the board firmly attached and the binding solid, bumping to corners. First illustrated edition of the most influential mythography of the late Renaissance--and indeed the whole Baroque period. This text was used as a source by Ronsard and others of the Pleiade in France, as well as by George Chapman and Francis Bacon in England; but on artists its influence was equally profound, especially once it appeared in illustrated editions. Art theorists, too, took the work as a fruitful source: Lomazzo in particular lifted great portions for his section on iconography. The early editions (it first appeared in 1561) were not illustrated, but here for the first time the reader would be able to see a graphic image of what had previously only been described in text. The previous year the celebrated antiquarian Lorenzo Pignoria (1571-1631) had collaborated with the Paduan printer Pierpaolo Tozzi to produce a scholarly and much augmented edition of Cartari's Imagini. Some of the woodcuts used for that work appear again here in an equally well-prepared edition which incorporates other relevant text. For a full discussion of the work and its great influence, see Jean Seznec's "Survival of the Pagan Gods" (1953).