FORESTI, Giacomo Filippo.. Novissimae historiarum omnium repercussiones.

Venice, Impressu[m] per Albertinu[m] De Lissona Vercelle[n]sem., 1503

Folio (320 x 219mm), 452, [10] leaves. Title with woodcut coat of arms of the dedicatee, cardinal Antonio Pallavicino, 95 woodcuts including 47 repetitions, full-page illustrations of the creation of Eve, the expulsion from Eden, the death of Abel and the Tower of Abel, the other illustrations consisting of city views in several sizes, but with larger views of Verona, Genoa, Rome, Milan, and Venice. Opening page of Book One with elaborate woodcut border and with 11-line capital, geographical diagram on a7, initial spaces with guide letters rubricated in red. Contemporary South German pigskin over wooden boards, remains of two clasps, lacking cornerpieces bosses. A very fine copy.Very rare Americanum, with an early mention of Columbus's discovery – ‘the first Venetian printed text to note the New World' (Horodowich, 60).Giacomo Filippo Foresti da Bergamo (1434-1520) was an Augustinian monk. First published as Supplementum chronicarum in Venice in 1483, his Novissimae historiarum omnium ripercussiones was a chronicle of the world from the Creation to the present. This is the second edition, enlarged with additional events which had occurred to 1499. Among its main textual and graphic sources were Boccaccio's Genealogia deorum, Hartmann Schedel's Liber chronicarum, and Rolewinck's Fasciculus temporum. As typical of ancient and medieval historiography, the narrative was organized chronologically, in the form of a vast genealogy rooted in the biblical patriarchs of Genesis and including pseudo-biblical figures, euhemerised classical deities and heroes.Produced in Venice, the woodcuts were based on those of the 1486 edition. Among the superb illustrations are full-page woodcuts of the Creation of Adam and Eve – copied from an illustration of the Cologne Bible of 1480 – a small map showing the Continents after the Flood, the Tropics and the Polar Circles, Adam and Eve eating the apple and their flight from Eden. Additional smaller woodcuts portray biblical and ancient cities (e.g., Milan) and events (e.g., the Fall of Troy), some based on real landscapes, other imaginary. The exquisite bird's-eye view of St Mark's Square and the Palazzo Ducale, with the columns to its right instead, was copied in a specular way from a woodcut in Rolewinck's Fasciculus temporum of 1481 (Essling I/2, 301, 305).The year 1458 bears a reference to the birth of print, assigned to Germany: ‘Ars imprimendi libros his temporibus in Germania primum enata est: quam alii repertam asseuerant a Cuthimbergo argentine: alii a quodam alio nomine Faust: alii a Nicolao Gensone praedicant.' Praise goes equally to Gutenberg, Fust and Nicolaus Jensen (who was however French). The entry for 1493 is entirely devoted to the ‘four islands in India recently discovered, beyond the world'; Sabin calls it ‘the earliest considerable recognition of [Columbus] by any general author'. The account comprises a description of the natural world and inhabitants of San Salvador, Fernandina, Hispaniola and Santa Maria de Conception. A main source was probably a Latin translation of Columbus's Epistola de insulis, first published in Rome in 1493.A scarce, handsomely-illustrated Venetian imprint, with mentions of the two greatest 15th-century discoveries.COPAC locates 1 copy in the UK (Cambridge); WorldCat locates 13 copies in the US (Minnesota, Illinois, Lehigh, Columbia, Fordham, Yale, Brown, Connecticut College, Boston Athenaeum, Getty, Huntington and UCLA).Mortimer, Italian 16th cent., 195; Sander I, 920; Essling I/2, 346; Sabin c.25083; Harrisse, Bibl. Amer. Vet., 42 (1506 ed.). E. Horodowich, The Venetian Discovery of America (Cambridge, 2018); ‘FORESTI, Giacomo Filippo', Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, 48 (1997).




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