L’architettura di Vitruvio Pollione colla traduzione Italiana e comento del Marchese Berardo Galiani academico Ercolanense, e architetto di merito dell’Accademia di S.Luca.
Napoli, Stamperia Simoniana 1758.
Large folio. Engraved frontispiece, (6) + xxxii + 462 + (2)pp, 25 engraved plates each with facing leaf of text. Contemporary full vellum, spine neatly repaired at top. Late eighteenth century engraved armorial bookplate of George Wilbraham. Some text leaves lightly browned owing to character of volume’s paper stock. A large copy. George Atkinson’s copy.
A substantial new edition of Vitruvius, printing Vitruvius’s Latin text together with a facing Italian translation, and intended by its author, the Neapolitan aristocrat Berardo Galiani (1724-1774), as a replacement for the edition of Vitruvius by Perrault which in its version of 1684 had long been thought of as the most reliable one for use and reading by architects and scholars. Galiani emphasises in his preface the trouble that he had taken to provide an accurate Latin text, based on extant manuscripts in the Vatican as well as on previous printed editions, and the scholarly footnotes which he provides throughout show the very considerable care with which he went about his editorial responsibilities. He also commissioned an entirely new series of accompanying engraved plates, owing little to the illustrations used in previous editions by other scholars, and these served as the model for illustrations in subsequent editions by other hands until well into the nineteenth century. The edition was widely esteemed by contemporaries, and copies found their way into the libraries of architects and book collectors in all the main European countries. A second edition was to follow in 1790, but that omitted the Latin text. George Wilbraham (1741-1813), the wealthy Cheshire landowner to whom the present copy belonged, visited Italy, including Sicily and presumably also Naples, while on the Grand Tour in the mid 1760s, and was elected a member of the Society of Dilettanti in 1770. BAL Cat 3501; Millard, Italian and Spanish Books 162; Fowler Cat 424; Berlin Cat 1820; Cicognara 733.