Title: Dante, con l'espositioni di Christoforo Landino, et d'Alessandro Vellutello, sopra la sua Comedia dell'Inferno, del Purgatorio, & del Paradiso, 1564
Author: Dante Alighieri; Cristoforo Landino; Alessandro Vellutello; Francesco Sansovino
Publisher: In Venetia, appresso Giovambattista, Marchio Sessa, et fratelli
Condition: Very Good
An uncommon mid 16th century edition of Dante’s Divine Comedy, also referred to as the Great Nose due to the portrait of Dante at the title. Francesco Sansovino is to be credited for this edition of the Comedy, having recorded the commentary by Alessandro Vellutello which appeared in the 1544 editions by Marcolini, which was no longer published in Italy until that point except in a 1551 Lyon imprint. The Landino commentary, originating to the 1481 edition, which also ceased reprinting in 1536, is also combined with the Vellutello commentaries.
The preliminary leaves include Sansovino's dedication to Pope Pius IV, following by a Proemio and Apology. From the 1544 edition, Vellutello’s dedication to Pope Paul III and the address to the readers of are taken. The following short biography on Dante is taken from Vellutello’s edition, in which there is no lack of references to the other biographies of the Florentine poet. Sansovino is responsible for the arguments and allegories that accompany each Canto, as well as the modernization of the handwriting of the text. This edition also reuses the woodcuts from the 1544 edition by Marcolini, though the source to the woodcut of Dante has been identified in two illustrations by Giorgio Vasari, preserved today at the Oriel College in Oxford and the Museum of Fine Arts in Cleveland.
There is one large three-quarter page woodcut on the title featuring a portrait of Dante within an elaborate decorated border with angels, festoons, cherubs, and grotesques, and 96 half page woodcuts throughout the book, with woodcut initials throughout.
This copy has been rebound by Pacchiotti Turin bookbinding in full vellum, and richly decorated with tooled gilt designs.
Worldcat records 47 copies of this edition in libraries.
One vellum bound volume in folio, (28)+392 leaves (numbered as 396 in error)
On note of condition, this volume is in very good shape, with very little rubbing or wear to the binding, only with some scuffing to the center of the front hinge. The frontispiece shows sign of creasing from humidity exposure and appears to have been restored and backed. The unnumbered leaves 1-7 and 16 have varying restorations with minimal text losses, and there is some foxing to the unnumbered leaves. There is a repair to the opening leaf of Purgatory. There is a minor wormhole that starts at the top of page 224 to 261, obscuring several letters, though not any woodcuts, and mostly affecting the upper margin. There is a tear to the lower margin of one of the preliminary leaves. There is some foxing and staining throughout, namely to the margins.