Epistola ad perillustrem Philippum Valorium. Ruinam, stragemq, fracta Pergamenae Florentinae testudinis deplorantis

08 BOCCHI Francesco Epistola ad perillustrem Philippum ValoriumBOCCHI, Francesco

Firenze, Sermartelli, 1604

In 4to; pp. (8), the last is blank; on title page a woodcut of the Santa Maria del Fiore dome, in Florence; woodcut initial,some manuscript notes.

Colored board binding. The work is dedicated to Filippo Valori, the Florence ambassador from Vatican.Original edition, much rare.

Bocchi’s pamphlet takes a cue from the incident of a lightning that stroke the Santa Maria del Fiore dome, in Florence, then it turns the speach towards the subject of restoration of the artifact considered the symbol of the city.  Although published only in 1604, the letter is dated at the bottom 1600, februrary, just after the damage of the cupola.The restauration was entrusted to Gherardo Mechini, who ended it in a short time; he employed a complex scaffolding system and elevation machines.

In a context of wide exaltation of the Florentine art history, these pages bring words of extreme praise for the dome magnificence, a work of high standard, whose majesty suggeststo audience “primo laetitia, deinde, cum appropinquant, admiratio, postremo stupor”. The celebration involves, obviously, the engineer, Filippo Brunelleschi, who is told to express the rationality of arts beyond the ancestors’ example.To support the theory, that glorifies the Florence Renaissance origins, Bocchi seems to refer even to Michelangelo, “iure optimo” who, about to build the Sacrario Laurenziato dome, affirms that no architet had done better after the Filippo machinery.

Francesco Bocchi (1548-1618) was an Italian scholar who, living in Florence, wrote a guide to beauties of the city: he was also author of a work on music and of another one on San Giorgio di Donatello statue (see entry on Dbi).

Filippo Brunelleschi (1377-1446), architect, engineer and sculptor, worked on the dome of Florence Cathedral since1418 and to his death, offering at the beginning his know how to solve the construction problem, along with Gihibertiand Battista d’Antonio, as “provider of the Dome construction”. The Dome had an octagonal plan on a gothic base ,which weight system was solved and cared by Brunelleschi, beyond the Dome, in the cupola that closes it.

Two copies, one in British Library, the other in Yale University Library.Schlosser 1935 doesn’t quote this work.


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