Dante Alighieri

Danthe aleghieri fiorentino.

Venice, Petrus de Quarengiis, Bergomensis, 11 October 1497.

Folio (300 x 203 mm). Collation: a10, a-z8, &8, A-K8, L-M10, N6. [12], ccxcvii, [1] leaves. Text surrounded by commentary, 46-61 lines. Type: 5:109R, 6:80R, 9:107R, 11:180G. On fol. a1v full-page woodcut depicting Dante, Virgil and the three wild beasts; ninety-nine woodcut vignettes in text, numerous woodcut decorated initials on black ground. Eighteenth-century mottled calf, over pasteboards. Spine with five raised bands, gilt-tooled with floral motifs. Marbled pastedowns and flyleaves. Red edges. A very good copy, a few spots.Marginalia in two different early hands.

Provenance: erased earliest ownership inscription on the recto of the first leaf (‘Iste liber [?]'); early eighteenth-century ownership inscription on the recto of the first leaf, only partly legible (‘Tra i libri di P. Gius. Ant. Z[?] di B[?] l'Anno del Sig.e 1728'); Charles Butler (1821-1910; armorial ex-libris on the front pastedown, ‘From the collection of Charles Butler (1821-1910) of Warren Wood Hatfield'; The Charles Butler Collections, London, Sotheby, April 5, 1911); Livio Ambrogio collection.

The last edition of the Commedia with Cristoforo Landino's commentary revised by Pietro da Figino issued in the fifteenth century, a substantial reprint of the edition produced by the printing house of Bernardinus Benalius and Matteo Capcasa in 1493. The illustrative apparatus reproduces the series first used by Benalius and Capcasa in 1491, but the vignettes illustrating each canto of the three cantiche are here reduced in size. The edition published by the Vprinter Pietro Quarenghi from Bergamo represents a striking evidence for the high demand in Venice for illustrated printings of the Commedia.