PILLONE LIBRARY – CARTARI, Vincenzo (c.1531-c.1569?). Le imagini de i dei de gli antichi. Venice: Ziletti, 1580.

Cartaris encyclopedia of ancient myth for artists, in a binding from the famed Pillone library. While Zaltieri’s etchings have been accused of a “literary” approach which is based on the text without any ancient comparanda, the result is illustrations of well-worn subjects which are nevertheless always fresh, delightful, and innovative. The artist of the Pillone bindings seems to have agreed; the covers reproduce scenes of Juno and Mercury from the Zaltieri’s work. The fore-edge painting of a sibyl is mostly worn away. Adams C-789; Mortimer Italian 108 (first edition); Pillone 139 (this copy).

Quarto (218 x 160). 88 full-page etchings by Zaltieri after Giuseppe Porta (light occasional spotting and dust-soiling). Contemporary vellum with front and back covers decorated by Vecellio reproducing Zaltieri’s etchings, the very faded remains of fore-edge painting of a sibyl (lacking silk ties, some light staining and a few wormholes). Provenance: extensive early annotation to the text – Odorico Pillone (1503-94) – Sir Thomas Brooke (1830-1908; bookplate) – sold by his heirs in 1957 as part of the Pillone collection to Pierre Berès (Catalogue Bibliothèque Pillone, 1957, no. 139).
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