Rome: Domenico Basa, 1590.
1st Edition. Hardcover. Folio - over 12 - 15" tall. Very Good. Item #003775
Folio (415 x 275 mm). , 108 (i.e. 112),  ll., including engraved title-page, additional engraved title-page with portrait of Fontana (by Natale Bonifazio da Sebenico), woodcut initials, 38 etched and engraved illustrations by Natali Bonifazio da Sebenico (including 3 double-page, 1 folding), and 3 diagrams in text; 4 unnumbered leaves of index, errata and colophon. With the additional leaves 66bis, 75bis and 76bis, f. 65 is a double sheet. The leaves 7 to 13 bound out of sequence after f. 18 and the last gathering S after final unnumbered leaf. Bound in 17th century sheepskin, spine with 6 raised bands, decorated and lettered in gilt in compartments, without free endpapers (joints partially split, spine ends damaged, extremities rubbed, corners worn and bumped). Light browning internally, occasional staining, spotting and paper softening, several mostly marginal paper restorations. Provenance: Angel Maria de Barcia y Pavón (1841-1927), librarian and painter (bookplate to front pastedown with motto"Inter utrumque volitans" and long inscription on flyleaf); Gerardo Olivares James (Cordoba, 1978). Good copy overall, collated complete. ----
Dibner, Heralds of Science 174; Norman 812; Brunet II:1329; Cicognara 3736; Fowler 124; Millard Coll. 40; Mortimer, Italian 193; Olschki 16955. - FIRST EDITION, RECORDING AND ILLUSTRATING ONE OF THE GREAT ENGINEERING FEATS OF THE RENAISSANCE. Fontana organized and directed this successful attempt to move the Vatican obelisk. Over 900 men, 150 horses and 47 cranes were required, and the project took four and a half months to complete (from 30 April to 10 September 1586). The plates "are important examples in the development of architectural drawing" (Fowler), and are considered by Olschki to be "remarquables au point de vue artistique autant que technique." Some plates towards the end illustrate the buildings designed by Fontana for Sixtus V.
"Besides its great graphic virtues, then, this book by Fontana is an important source for the history of architecture. It is differentiated from contemporary theoretical publications by its dominant technical and pragmatic approach to architectural problems, and specifically by its interest in the organization of the construction site, its vast vision, and its research in architectural typology" (Millard). - Visit our website to see more images!
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