Supplimento delle piacevoli, ingeniose, et argutissime lettere indirizzate a diversi, sotto varii e bellissimi discorsi,nello antico volgare idioma composte

11 CALMO Andrea Supplimento delle piacevoli ingeniose et argutissime lettereCALMO, Andrea

Venezia, Bertacagnio, 1552.

In 8vo; ll. 62, (1), last blank leaf missing, a big mark on titlepage showing Moses while receiving the Ten commandmentsboards, reprinted on last leaf; figurated initials. Contemporarycoloured cased binding.

A fantastic example of Renaissance plurilinguism and thefirst edition containing the letter addressed to still living Michelangelo,“homo da sublimar laudar esaltar e magnificar…per le venerande e stupendissime opere… di pittura,scultura, architettura”. Between dialect and jokes, in a some flippal mood, Calmo puts Buonarroti so far beyond Phidias,Apelles, Zeuxis, as a winner over antiquity. Between otherworks, in a mock spirit Calmo recalls Saint Peter Curch, sosolid and modern that “Vitruvio no valerave un peto sil fussevivo” (‘Vitruvius wouldn’t be worth a fart, if alive”). Extravagantart literature pages, in which is arising the then currenttheme of employ of earliest art in Michelangelo work,and the costume of tuscan in drawing.

In Calmo’s letters, a comedian and comic writer, the culturalclimate of XVI Century Venice is put in evidence, and apoint of view of society, told by the city dialect, emploied bythis curious character, friend of thinkers and artists as like Anton Francesco Doni, Pietro Aretino, Tintoretto. The authoris considered by many the heir of Ruzzante and a forerunnerof the “commedia dell’arte”. Letters are includedbetween his most achieved writings.

“Perhaps Calmo’s most interesting work is his collection ofimaginary letters, bizarre conversations with hisorical personagesthat contain fables and fantastic stories, songs andproverbs… are written in archaic Venetian and are of interestfor thei chronicling of the customs of the day” (J.E. Carney,Renaissance and Reformation, 1500-1620: ABiographical Dictionary, 2001, p. 59).

Calmo wrote his false letters in venetian dialect, with vernacularelements and calambours, broken latin inserts, withjokes and fun dialogues then adopted by the “commedia dell’arte”.Between the recipients we find also Aretino, Doniand a lady in Rome. Between the letters we can find somemuch important information about dance, between XV andXVI century.Wittkower 348


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Catalogue 2018 - History of arts, Renaissance and Baroque. Books and texts from XVI to XVIII century


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