Dispareri in materia d’architettura, et perspettiva. Con pareri di eccellenti, et famosi architetti, che li risolvono.
Bressa (i.e. Brescia), Francesco & Pie Maria Marchetti fratelli 1572.
8vo. 53 + (1)pp, 12 engraved plates. Eighteenth century quarter calf, marbled boards. Title leaf browned and some intermittent light spotting on text leaves, but an unrestored copy with the plates in good, fresh condition.
First edition, and the only sixteenth century edition, of this fascinating and rare volume by the architect Martino Bassi (1544-1591), which records one of the very earliest public debates about the merits of a particular architectural scheme. What had happened is that Milan’s cathedral architect, Pellegrino Tibaldi, had submitted designs for the restoration of the cathedral’s baptistery, choir and crypt, and for the placing of a sculptured relief of the Annunciation above the cathedral’s north entrance, and that Bassi, who had detected faults both in the perspective treatment of the relief and in other proposals by Tibaldi, had persuaded the cathedral authorities to allow him and Tibaldi to address a special meeting of dignitaries and experts in the spring of the year 1570. Their speeches and Bassi’s related drawings, pointing out the flaws in Tibaldi’s designs, and engraved on twelve accompanying plates, form the body of the present volume, but what makes the book of unusual interest is that after the meeting Bassi circulated texts of his and Tibaldi’s remarks to Palladio, Vignola, Vasari, and G.B. Bertani, asking them for their opinions, and in the published volume he prints their written replies, all of which are carefully considered and based on their personal experience. It is remarkable that as early as 1570 so eminent a panel of advisers should have been consulted and that their opinions should have been set out in printed form for posterity. Berlin Cat 2600 ; Fowler 40 ; Harvard Cat Italian Books 46 ; Cicognara 423 ; BAL Cat 219.