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  • Bookshop: Antiquariat Hellmut Schumann (Switzerland)
  • ILAB-LILA Member
  • Publishing year: 1590
  • Publisher: Milan, Paolo Gottardo Pontio

Bibliographic details

Medaillon portrait of the author on title. [16] leaves, 168 pp. 4to. 18th century marbled half calf (worn). Milan, Paolo Gottardo Pontio, 1590. First edition of the most important art-theoretical treatise from the 16th century, especially on Mannerism, thus the techniques and aesthetics employed in depicting human expressions and emotions. Lomazzo (1538-1600) was an ambitious painter, well-informed critic, had a sarcastic wit and was perhaps the most imaginative writer on art of his time. In the "Idea" he offers original theoretical solutions in two areas: First, to connect the theory of the four humours or temperaments, with the astrological notion of planetary influence, and to derive from the fusion an explanation of the artistic value. This effected a reconcilation between the "rules" that were so dear to the Mannerits and the fantasy and freedom that were equally dear. Secondly, and even more important, Lomazzo took on the challenge of proving that painting was an intellectual, not a manual activity and provided, as no other theorist had, a philosophical underpinning for this claim. He based his theory on Marsilio Ficino's commentary on Plato's Symposium (found in Chapter XXVI), entitled "Del modo di conoscere, & constiuire le proportione secondo la bellezza"). For a full discussion see Panofsky, Idea pp. 95-99. Lomazzo, a promising pupil of Gaudenzio Ferrari and G.B. Cerva, lost his eyesight in an accident at the age of 33 and turned to writing. This present "Idea of the Temple of Painting" is one of his most important and influential work. It also contains a table of artistic names especially at Milan, the circle of Gaudenzio Ferrari, Lomazzo's uncle, and names of earlier artists, especially Leonardo da Vinci. The work gives a comprehensive picture of the theories, iconography, and beauty of the Mannerits artists.- Light dampstains and some spots on a few leaves of preliminaries and within the text or to the end, last leaf old repaired. Otherwise a good copy, rare. - Cicognara 162; Adams L-1417; not in Berlin Cat.; EDIT 16, 24458; USTC 838469. ART & ARCHITECTURE & ARCHAEOLOGY

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