De Symmetria partium in rectis formis humanorum corporum, Libri in Latinum conversi (per J. Camerarium) / De varietate figurarum et flexuris partium ac gestib[um] imaginum, libri duo. .
Nürnberg: in aedib. viduae Durerianae / Formschneider, 1532.
1st Edition. Hardcover. Folio - over 12 - 15" tall. Very Good. Item #002846
De Symmetria partium in rectis formis humanorum corporum, Libri in Latinum conversi (per J. Camerarium). Nürnberg: in aedib. viduae Durerianae, 1532. 79 (of 80) unnumbered leaves, bound without the blank leaf A6. Signatures: A-E6 [-A6] F4 G-N6 O4. Title with 8-line verse to the reader above Dürer's woodcut monogram, gothic letter text in single and double columns, woodcuts throughout including 85 full-length figures of the human body. [Bound with] DÜRER, Albrecht. De varietate figurarum et flexuris partium ac gestib[um] imaginum, libri duo. . . Nürnberg: Formschneider, 22 Nov. 1534. 56 unnumbered leaves, including 4 folding and a final blank. Signatures: a-k6. Unsigned leaves a4, e6, f6, i5 split from bifolio and attached to a3, e5, f1, i4 respectively to gain folding leaves. Errata on k5v. "Elegia Bilibaldi Pirckeymheri in obitum Alberti Dureri" and three epitaphs on k4v-k5r crossed out and with remnant from former obscuring paste downs. Folio (315 x 205 mm). 18th-century vellum over thick boards, spine titled in gilt (vellum soiled, extremities little rubbed), new endpapers, marbled edges. Only little browning and occasional very slight foxing of paper, a small light waterstain at top fore margin of about one third of the leaves, first title page soiled and with repair of torn portion at lower margin plus a closed tear repaired at verso (both not affecting any text), small wormtrack at top blank margin of final 3 gatherings of first work. A fine wide-margined copy, complete except for a single missing blank. ----
Adams D-1044; Fairfax Murray German Books 152; Bohatta 20; DSB IV, pp. 259-60. FIRST LATIN EDITION, in two parts, of Vier Bücher von menschlicher Proportion first published 1528 in German. Unlike his Italian contemporary, Leonardo da Vinci, who published nothing, Dürer lived and worked in the world of printing and engraving. Dürer's treatise on human proportion was the earliest of the three theoretical works written in his later years. He began formulating mathematical rules for the proportions of the human form soon after his first trip to Venice in 1494-95. For his mathematical formulations he drew upon the works of antiquity as well as the Italian rediscoveries; as for his other theoretical works, his goal was to establish a scientific basis for aesthetics and to provide practical guidelines for draftsmanship. "The book is the synthesis of Dürer's solutions to his self-imposed formal problems; in it he sets forth his formal aesthetic... Dürer's aesthetic rules are based firmly in the laws of optics--indeed, he even designed special mechanical instruments to aid in the measurement of human form. He used the height of the human body as the basic unit of measurement..." (DSB). Book IV is of the greatest interest as it presents for the first time many "new, difficult, and intricate considerations of descriptive spatial geometry... Dürer's chief accomplishment as outlined in the Four Books is that in rendering figures... he first solved the problem of establishing a canon, then considered the transformation of forms within that canon... In so doing he considered the spatial relations of form and the motions of form within space" (DSB). Camerarius' translation popularised the fame of the book throughout Europe. "Without Camerarius' translation, Dürer's writings would not have achieved exceptional dissamination in Europe. Without Camerarius translation, Michelangelo would never have seen Dürer's theory of proportion" (translation from Dürer Katalog, Nürnberg, 1971). - Visit our website for additional images and information.
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