Perspectivae Libri Sex. Guido Ubaldo MONTE, Marchese del.
Perspectivae Libri Sex.
Perspectivae Libri Sex.

Charles of Valois’ Copy in Contemporary Green Morocco with Arms

Perspectivae Libri Sex.

Large woodcut diagram on title & more than 300 woodcut diagrams in the text. 2 p.l., 310, [1] pp. Small folio, cont. dark green morocco, arms of Charles de Valois on sides & his monogram in corners (Olivier 2600, fers 6 & 7), triple gilt fillet round sides, flat spine divided into seven compartments, six with monogram repeated, a.e.g. Pesaro: G. Concordia, 1600.

First edition of this important landmark in the history of the science of perspective and a precious copy from the library of Charles of Valois (1573-1650), finely bound in contemporary green morocco with his arms. Charles was the natural son of Charles IX and was also Count, then Duke of Angouléme. He served in numerous military campaigns and was imprisoned for a number of years for having taken part in several intrigues. Released in 1616, he was appointed ambassador to Germany in 1620. His considerable collection of books was left by his elder son, Louis de Valois, Comte d’Alais, to the Minims of La Guiche in Charolais. Its library was dispersed at the time of the French Revolution.

Monte (1545-1607), was Galileo’s patron and friend for 20 years and was possibly the greatest single influence on the mechanics of Galileo.

This work “is the culminating book in the phase of mathematical perspective with which we have been concerned...His Perspectivae libri sex provided a definitive and often original analysis of the mathematics of perspectival projection, in a far more extended way than either Commandino or Benedetti had aimed to do...Guidobaldo’s book rightly came to be regarded as the main source of reference for anyone seriously interested in the underlying geometry of perspectival projection. But this is not to say that he made life at all easy for the painter who wishes to approach his text. His only substantial treatment of a representational technique occurred in his final book, in which he analysed the scenographic perspective of stage design.”–Kemp, The Science of Art, pp. 89-91–(& see his detailed account of the contents of the book).

Galileo apparently read the work in manuscript in 1594, and the illustrations of shadows on the lunar surface in his Sidereus Nuncius (1610) may be based on Book 5 (see S.Y. Edgerton in Art Journal 44, Fall 1984, p. 226).

A magnificent copy preserved in a morocco-backed box; 17th-century ownership inscription on title, “Ex Bibliotheca Minimorum Guichiensium.”

❧ Besterman, Old Art Books, p. 74. D.S.B., IX, p. 487-89. Riccardi, II, 179.

Price: $40,000.00

Item ID: 7696