De coloribus libellus, a Simone Portio Neapolitano latinitate donatus, & commentariis illustratus: una cum eiusdem praefatione, qua coloris naturam declarat.
Florence: Lorenzo Torrentini, 1548.
1st Edition. Soft cover. 4to - over 9¾ - 12" tall. Very Good. Item #002939
4to (207 x 137 mm). 197 , [2, errata] pp. Text in latin and greek. Bound in contemporary limp vellum, spine titled in manuscript, ties gone (soiling, browning and minor spotting of vellum, old repair to spine, small hole in lower cover). Internally quite crisp and clean, small dampstain to fore-margin of first two gatherings, few pages with contemporary ink annotations, first flyleaf with long commentary in manuscript. A fine, wide-margined copy. ----
Adams A 1787; Cranz (IA) 108.139; Graesse V, 419; Hoffmann I, 307, 4; Honeyman 143; Schweiger I, 52. FIRST EDITION of a work now attributed to Theophrastus being one of the earliest printed books on color, with the Latin translation and commentary by the Neapolitan physician and philosopher Simone Porzio. It is generally agreed that De coloribus was not written by Aristotle; but can now be ascribed to Theophrastus or Strato. There is no evidence upon which to determine the authorship. It probably emanates from one of the Peripatetic School. De coloribus outlines the theory that all colors (yellow, red, purple, green, and blue) are derived from mixtures of black and white. It had a pronounced impact on subsequent color theories and remained influential until Isaac Newton's experiments with light refraction. The author states at the end of the book that he rather intends to provide data for a detailed examination into the scientific theory of color than to expound a complete thesis. He realised that the development of color in plants and animals depends to some extent on heat, suggesting that heat and moisture are the controlling factors. The treatise is therefore of more value as a collection of observed facts than for any theory of the origin and development of color in physical life. There is no knowledge of the part played by chemical action, but the author distinguishes primary and secondary colors and raises doubt whether black is a color at all. - Visit our website for additional images and information.
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