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The Symbolic Literature of the Renaissance

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[These pages are under construction. Contributions are welcome and will be acknowledged.  For details see here]

Accademia degli Occulti Rime de gli academici occulti Brescia: Vincenzo di Sabbio, 1568

First publication by an Italian Academy on emblematics

Accademici Gelati di Bologna / Capponi Memorie Imprese e Ritratti Bologna: Manoli, 1672

Academici, Gelati Recreationi amorose de gli Academi Bologna: Rossi, 1590

Aleandro, Gìrolamo Sopra l'imprésa degli accademici Humoristi Rome: 1611

Amboise Adrien d’ Discours des Devises 1620

With Devises Royales 1621 usually printed together *G I, 97

Ammirato, Scipione Il Rota overo dell’imprese Naples: Scotto, 1562   

Another edition, Naples: Vinvcenzo Caraffa, 1652.

Aresi, Paulo Imprese Sacre Verona 1615

7 volume edition appeared Milan: Pontio & Piccaglia, 1621

----------------------Delle sacre imprese...libro quarto Tortoni: 1630

----------------------La retroguardia, Libro settimo delle sacre imprese Genoa: 1640

Arigoni, Giovanni Battista Discorso intorno all' impresa dell' accademia degli Aveduti di Padoa Padua: 1602

Arnigio, Bartolomeo Rimi degli Accademici Occulti con le loro Imprese e discorsi Brescia, 1568

Bargagli, Scipioni La Prima Parte dell’Imprese Siena: Bonetti, 1578

Second edition Venice: Franceschi, 1589. The second and third parts appeared only in the third edition Venice: 1594

-----------------------Il Rolo, overo cento imprese Bologna: 1591

Belloni, Giovanni Discorso: impresa degli accademici Ricovrati di Padova Padua: 1601.

Beltrami, F. Discorso intorno all'imprese accademiche comuni Perugia: 1612

Bezzi, Guiliano il Torneo overo Imprese Bologna: 1645

Biralli, Simone Dell'imprese scelte Venice: 1600 (2nd volume 1610)

Blount, Thomas The art of making devices London: 1646

A translation of Estienne’s  L’art de faire les devises 1645

Bouhours, Dominique Les Entretiens d'Artiste et d'Eugene Paris: 1734

Explanation of the mottos of the devices.

Bruno, Giordano De Gli’heroici furori Paris: Baio, 1585

Contains some 15 devices described but no pictures, Actually published in London by Charlewood

Caburaccio, Francesco Trattato ... di fare le Imprese Bologna: 1580

Camden in his Remaines concerning Britain 1605

‘a device is a picture with his motte or word borne by a noble and learned personage to notify some particular conceit of their own; as Emblemes (that we may omit other differences) propound some general instruction to us all.’

Camilli, Camillo Imprese Illustri Venice: Ziletti, 1586

Only edition 

Camilli, C. Imprese illustri di diversi, coi discorsi Venetia: Franscesco Ziletti, 1586

This volume is desirable for collectors of "history of the book" because of the unusual combination of wood-cut and copperplate illustrations.

Capacci, Giulio Cesare Delle’imprese Naples: Carlino & Pace, 1592

Capponi, G Accademici Gelati di Bologna Memorie Imprese Bologna: Manoli, 1672

Chiocco, Andrea Discorso delle Imprese Verona: 1601

Contarini, Francesco Discorso intorno l'impresa dell'accademia, degli Immaturi Venice: 1618

Contile, Luca Ragionamento...sopra la proprieta delle imprese Pavia: Bartoli, 1574

D'Amboise, Adrian Devises royales Paris: 1622

Daniel, Samuel 1585

English translation of Giovio on the device   

Dolce, Ludovico Imprese Venice: 1562

------------------------Imprese nobili Venice, 1566

-----------------------Imprese nobili Venice, 1578

-----------------------Imprese nobili Venice, 1583

Estienne, Henri L’art de faire les devises 1645

See Blount

Fabrici Delle Allusioni, Imprese Rome: Grassi, 1588

Farra, Alessandro Settenario dell’umana riduttione Venice: Zanetti, 1571

Part 7 called Filosofica Symbolica is about devices. Another edition Venice: 1594

Félibien, André Tapisseries du Roy Paris: Mabre Cramoisy, 1679

Ferro, AG Teatro d’imprese Venice: Sarzina, 1623

Lists fifty-two authors of collections of devices. 2 volumes. Another edition Venice: 1629

Feuille, Daniel de la Devises et emblemes Amsterdam: de la Feuille, 1692

50 plates containing 12-15 devices with facing page mottos in 8 languages

Flamen, Albert Devises et Emblemes Paris: Oliver de Varennes, 1653

Second edition.

Fraunce, Abraham Imprese London: 1588

Giarda, Christoforo Bibliotheca Alexandrinae Icones Symbolicae Milan: Bidellium, 1628

Giovio, Paulo Dialogo dell'Impresi Militari et Amorose 1551

Another edition Rome 1555

Another edition ed. G. Ruscelli Venice: 1556 (a)

Another edition ed. L Domeaichi Venice: 1556 (g)

Another edition ed. Samuel Daniel London: Simon Waterson, 1556

(Treatise on Military and Amorous Devices) 1st illustrated edition was Lyons: Roviglio, 1559.

Another edition Lyons: 1561

Another edition with Simeone Lyons: Roviglio, 1574

-----------------------Ragiomento di Mons. Paulo Giovani sopra Motti, & Disegni d'Arme, & d'Amore, che Communamente Chiamano Imprese Venice: Giordano Ziletti, 1556

-----------------------Ragionamento sopra …Imprese Venice: Ziletti, 1560

With the Discorso of Ruscelli

----------------------Diálogo de las Empresas Militares y Amorosas Lyons: 1561

-----------------------Le Sententiose Imprese di Monsignor Paulo Giovio, et del Signor Gabriel Symeoni, Ridotte in Rima per il Dette Symeoni Lyons: Rouille, 1562

Giovio, Paulo and Simeone, Gabriele Le Sentententiose Imprese 1562

Also called Tetraschi Morali or Moral Four line stanzas. It has the same cuts as Giovios previous work.
First edition Lyons: 1559
Second edition Lyons: 1562

Jovius, Paul, Bishop of Nocera Dialogo dell'Impresse Militari et... Lyons: Rouille, 1559

Knight, Frederick Modern and Antique Gems 1828

 A book of devices

Langlois, Pierre Discours des Hieroglyphes Aegyptiens, Emblemes, Devises & Armoiries. Aveques Plusieurs Interpretations des Songes et Prodiges Paris: Abel l'Angelier, 1584

Lorea, Antonio de David pecador y David penitente: empresas morales político-cristianas Madrid: 1674

Lucarini, Alcibiade Imprese dell’Officioso Academico Siena: Ercole Gori, 1629

Martini Overo cento imprese de gl'illustri Signori 1591

Masen, Jakob Speculum Imaginum 1650  

Discusses emblems, hieroglyphs, enigmas and symbols (his word for devices).

Menestrier, Claude François Philosophie des images; receuil des Devises Paris: de la Caille 1682

--------------------------Histoire du Roy Louis le Grand Paris: I.B. Nolin 1691

Second edition (1st: 1689)

Labia, Carlo Imprese pastorali VeniceL 1685

Landi, Panfilo Impresa dell'accademia Partenia di Roma Rome: 1594

Le Moyne, Pierre De l’Art des Devises Paris: Cramoisy, 1666

‘I should say that there is in the device something of those universal images given to the higher spirits.’

------------------------Devises heroiques et morales Paris 1649

Lucarini, Alcibiade Impresa dell'Officioso Intronato Siena: 1614

Another edition, Siena, Ercole Gori, 1628-9.

Menestrier, Claude-François La Devise du Roy Justifié Paris: Michalet, 1679

------------------------La Science et l'Art des Devises Paris: de la Caille, 1686

Neugebauer, Salomon Selectorum Symbolorum Heroicorum Frankfurt: Lucas Jennis, 1619

Palazzi, Giovanni I Discorsi sopra L’Imprese Bologna: Benacci, 1575 (B)(P)

Treatise on devices 

Paradin, Claude Devises Heroiques Lyons: de Tournes, 1551  

First edition. The cuts are by Bernard Salomon who was universally known as ‘Le Petit Bernard’, Little Bernard. The first book to contain devices of historical persons.
Other editions - Lyons: Tournes & Gazeau, 1557 (Second edition; First augmented edition); Antwerp: Plantin, 1583; Leiden: Plantin-Rapheleng, 1600 (Latin translation by Joannes Gubernator).

------------------------Symbola Heroica Antwerp: Plantin, 1567

------------------------Devises Heroiques et Emblemes Paris: Rolet Boutonne, 1621

Another edition, Paris, Rolet Boutonne, 1622.

Pectrasancta, Silvestro De Symbol Heroicis Antwerp: Plantin, 1634

Piccaglia, Giovan Battista Imprese de tre accademie Partenie Milan: 1603

Picinelli, Filippo Mondo Symbolico Venice: Pezzana, 1670

Pittoni, Battista and Dolce, Ludovico Imprese Nobili Venice: Porro, 1578

Another edition Venice: Ziletti, 1583

Puttenham, George The Arte of English Poesie London: Field, 1589

‘Devices, a terme which includes in his generality all those other, viz liveries, cognizances, emblemes, enseignes and impreses….the use and intent is but one …and that is to insuniat [insinuate] some secret wittie morall and brave purpose, either to recreate his eye, or please his phantasie, or examine his judgement or occupie his braine.’(89)

Raimondi, Girolamo Dichiarazione dell'impresa universale nell'Accademia Partenia de Napoli Milan: 1602

Ruscelli, Girolamo Le imprese illustre Venice: 1566

(Famous Devices)
First edition.
Other editions Venice: 1580, 1583; Another ed., Venice: Senesi, 1584

Scève, Maurice Delie Lyons: Sabon, 1544

(Delight) A collection of love lyrics in the style of Petrarch and the first printed collection of devices. There was only one illustrated device for each ten lyrics which were called epigrams. It was more a book of poems than devices and as Praz points out the poetry was as distinguished as any in the emblem genre.

Simeoni, Gabriele Le imprese eroichi et morali Lyons: Roviglio, 1559

Also in French Les devises ou emblemes heroiques et morales Lyons: Roville,1559

-----------------------Le sententioze imprese Lyons: Roviglio, 1560

Taegio, Bartolemeo Il liceo dell'arte de fabricare le imprese Milan: 1571

2 books

Tasso, Ercole Della realta e perfettione delle Imprese Venice: Ciotti, 1600

Another edition Bergamo, 1612

Tasso, Torquato Dialogo del’Imprese Naples: Stigliola, 1594

Tesauro, Emanuele Idea delle Perfette Imprese 1620s

------------------------Il Cannochiale Aristotelico Venice: Curti, 1678

‘Hence arise the delights which the ‘Imprese’ give us, because a thing called by its proper name does not teach us anything but itself, but calling by a metaphor teaches us two things at the same time, one within the other.’

Trevisani, Cesare La Impresa Genoa: Belloni, 1569

A commentary on one emblem composed by the author

Visconte, Francesco Ragionamento sopra l'impresa dell'Accademia Partenia Minore de Milano Milan: 1602

Winter Livre des plus belles devises Amsterdam: 1697