Florence? 1591 – 1635 Florence?
Le Fonti d’Ardenna festa d’arme, e di ballo; fatta in Firenze da dodici Signori Accademici Rugginosi il carneuale dell’anno 1623. Nel principato del Sig. Alessandro del Nero. Inuenzione del Sig. Andrea Saluadori. Descritta dal Rugginoso Percosso.
Florence, Pietro Cecconcelli, 1623
quarto (240 × 150 mm), (26) ff. signed A–E4 F6 (blank F6), not foliated or paginated. Woodcut printer’s device on title-page, two woodcut initials, head- and tail-piece.
contents title (transcribed above), folio A1 recto (verso blank); Al Serenissimo Guidobaldo Principe d’Urbino Accademico Protettore de Rugginosi, A2–A3 recto (A3 verso blank); Descrizione della Festa d’arme, e di ballo, A4 recto–F4 recto; Lo Stampator à chi Legge, F4 verso; Stampisi piacendo al Molto Reuerendo Padre Inquisito, F5 recto (verso blank).
provenance prince Piero Ginori Conti (1865–1939), his exlibris1 and crowned cipher stamped in gilt on binding — Giannalisa Feltrinelli (1903–1981) — Christie’s South Kensington Ltd., ‘The Giannalisa Feltrinelli Library, Part Six’, London, 2 June 1998, lot 1270
Some light spotting, but a good, partly unopened copy. Headcap of binding chipped.
binding nineteenth-century Italian calf-backed boards.
Description of ‘The fountains of the Ardennes’, an entertainment (tournament on horseback and dance) performed by the Accademici Rugginosi in the Palazzo della Gherardesca (Casa Rinaldi), on 3 February 1622 (stile fiorentino). The librettist was Andrea Salvadori, from 1616 to 1628 the principal author of texts for theatrical entertainments at the Florence court. Music for the spectacle (now lost) was composed by Marco da Gagliano and scenery designed by Giulio Parigi.2
The occasion was a quasi-diplomatic visit to Florence of Henri ii Bourbon, prince of Condé, and Salvadori’s libretto comments explicitly on the current events – a territorial dispute in the Valtelline, traditionally Catholic, but controlled by the Protestant Swiss, and now contested by France, Spain, and Austria – which had stimulated his visit.3 According to the court diarist, Cesare Tinghi, the Archduchess Maria Magdalena, who ruled Tuscany from 1621 to 1628 during the minority of Grand Duke Ferdinando ii, occupied the primo luogo for the performance, followed by (in order) Cardinal Carlo de’ Medici, Grand Duke Ferdinand ii, the prince of Condé, and Don Lorenzo de’ Medici.4 After the performance, the academicians mounted their horses and with musical accompaniment paraded through the streets of Florence.
The edition is dedicated by the secretary of the academy, Simone Carlo Rondinelli (‘Percosso’) to their patron, Guidobaldo, prince of Urbino, ‘In Firenze a’ 24. di Febbraio. 1623’. He presents Salvadori’s libretto (357 lines) interspersed by his own detailed description of the knights’ costumes and armour (more than twice the number of pages needed for the libretto). In explicating the visual aspects of the work, Rondinelli drove home its message, at the top of Archduchess Maria Magdalena’s political agenda: the Catholic powers of France, Spain and the Empire must stop fighting each other, and join in battle against their common enemy, heresy.5 Another entertainment sponsored by the court during Condé’s visit (Jacopo Cicognini’s La finta mora) urged the Catholic leaders to direct their combined might against the Turks.6
Printed at the end of the volume is an address ‘Lo Stampator à chi Legge’ in which the printer says he had intended to include in the book ‘un disegno in Rame della Scena, e del Ballo’ and also the music, but could not owing to ‘la strettezza del tempo’.
These copies are known to the writer
● Bologna, Biblioteca Universitaria, A.5.Tab. 1.L.2 147/7 ● Cambridge, Cambridge University Library, Acton b.28.168(7)7 ● Cambridge, ma, Harvard University, *IC6 Sa384 623f ● Chicago, University of Chicago, Gt 4252.F5R66 1623 ● Florence, Biblioteca Riccardiana, Miscell. 1728 ● London, British Library, 813 g.8 and Hirsch iv, 1404 ● Pisa, Biblioteca Universitaria, Misc. 611/7 ● Rome, Biblioteca universitaria Alessandrina, xiii.c.10.19 ● Rome, Biblioteca Casanatense, Misc. 803/7 ● San Marino, Huntington Library, 425106 ● University Park, pa, Pennsylvania State University, Mary Ann O’Brian Malkin Collection, GV1643.M36 no.112 16239 ● Washington, dc. Folger Library10
Another edition providing the argomento and libretto only (without the account of the action, scenes, and costume, also without an illustration or music) was published simultaneously.11
references Lione Allacci, Drammaturgia (reprint Turin 1961), col. 365 (uncertain edition); Domenico Moreni, Bibliografia storico-ragionata della Toscana (Florence 1805), ii, p.292 (uncertain edition)
1. Egisto Bragaglia, Gli ex libris italiani dalle origini alla fine dell’Ottocento (Milan 1993), no. 2331.
2. Arthur R. Blumenthal, Giulio Parigi’s stage designs: Florence and the early Baroque spectacle (New York 1986), p.385.
3. For the political context, see Kelley Harness, ‘Hapsburgs, heretics, and horses: Equestrian ballets and other staged battles in Florence during the first decade of the Thirty Years War’ in L’arme e gli amori: Ariosto, Tasso and Guarini in Late Renaissance Florence, edited by Massimiliano Rossi and Fiorella Gioffredi Superbi (Florence 2004), ii, pp.255–283 (especially pp.259–264).
4. Angelo Solerti, Musica, ballo e drammatica alla corte Medicea dal 1600 al 1637 (Florence 1905), pp.164–168.
5. Kelley Harness, Echoes of women’s voices: music, art, and female patronage in early modern Florence (Chicago 2006), pp.147–152.
6. Harness, op. cit., 2004, p.261.
7. Roberto L. Bruni and D. Wyn Evans, Italian 17th-century books in Cambridge libraries (Florence 1997), no. 4828.
8. Il Luogo teatrale a Firenze, catalogue of an exhibition, held in the Palazzo Medici Riccardi (Florence 1975), pp.90–91 no. 6:12:3
9. The art of Terpsichore: from Renaissance festivals to Romantic ballets; an exhibition of dance-related rare books and prints, catalogue by Madison U. Sowell (Provo, ut 1994), no.19; Mary Ann O'Brian Malkin, Dancing by the book: a catalogue of books 1531–1804 in the collection of Mary Ann O’Brian Malkin (New York 2003), no. 112.
10. Louise Clubb, Italian plays (1500–1700) in the Folger Library (Florence 1968), no. 750.
11. Printed in quarto format, (8) ff. signed A8; see Claudio Sartori, I Libretti italiani a stampa dalle origini al 1800 (Cuneo 1990), no. 10768. Copies ● Cambridge, ma, Harvard University, Theatre Collection *2004T-458 ● Florence, Biblioteca nazionale centrale, Nencini 1.1, 4.50 (‘Per un regale evento’: spettacoli nuziali e opera in musica alla corte dei Medici, catalogue of an exhibition held in the Biblioteca nazionale centrale, Florence 2000, pp.225–226 no. 154, with reproduction of title-page) ● London, British Library, 11427 f 14 ● Paris, Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal (S.P. Michel, Répertoire des ouvrages imprimés en langue italienne au xviie siècle, vii, Paris 1980, p.72) ● Washington, dc, Library of Congress, ML 52.2 F55. The text alone was reprinted in Salvadori’s Poesie (Rome 1668), i, pp.394–408.