Rosario figurato della Sacratissima Vergine Maria madre di Dio nostra avocata ... raccolto per Il R. P. F. Andrea Giannetti dal Saló. LUIS DE GRANADA.
Rosario figurato della Sacratissima Vergine Maria madre di Dio nostra avocata ... raccolto per Il R. P. F. Andrea Giannetti dal Saló...
Rosario figurato della Sacratissima Vergine Maria madre di Dio nostra avocata ... raccolto per Il R. P. F. Andrea Giannetti dal Saló...
Rosario figurato della Sacratissima Vergine Maria madre di Dio nostra avocata ... raccolto per Il R. P. F. Andrea Giannetti dal Saló...
A rosary “picture text”

Rosario figurato della Sacratissima Vergine Maria madre di Dio nostra avocata ... raccolto per Il R. P. F. Andrea Giannetti dal Saló... Rome: (Giuseppe de gl’Angeli for) Giovanni Baptista d' Cavalleri & Lorenzo Oderico “conpagni” [sic], 1576-1577.

4to (198 x 140 mm). [12], “176” [i.e., 276] pp. Engraved allegorical title and 21 full-page engravings, woodcut head- and tailpieces, initials, and printer’s device at end. Light foxing and staining, title-leaf and its conjugate discreetly reinforced at gutter, a few small marginal tears or small wormholes, lower forecorners of ff. Q4, R1 and R2 clipped, catching extreme outer corner of engraving on R2v. Contemporary flexible parchment, manuscript title on spine, lower edge ink-lettered “PR”; front endleaves and lower pastedown renewed. 

Rare edition of a popular Italian companion to the mysteries of the rosary, illustrated with a series of symbolical and devotional illustrations which create an echo effect, reinforcing the numerical satisfactions of reciting the rosary. These illustrations certainly contributed to this book’s popularity, reflecting a contemporary fascination with the rosary. At the same time this book was one of a handful of rosary publications that accelerated dissemination of the fifteen mysteries of the rosary, the most widespread of the rosary practices, which is traced to the 15th-century Dominican Alanus de Rupe.

While it originated in monastic devotions, the practice of reciting the rosary became a genuinely popular religious phenomenon, disseminated largely through print, and only ratified by the Church a century after it arose. “It is evident that the speed with which the Rosary spread was due to the medium of print, which created a ‘revolution’, including in religious attitudes. Its diffusion was also helped by the new role played by laypeople in religious activities. Religious life in the fifteenth century was becoming less dependent on ecclesiastical decision-making, and the development of confraternities not only offered the laity a means of becoming more active in Church life, but also drove demand for new devotional practices that could be conducted without clerical leadership. The Rosary met these needs well...” (Ardissino). The sixteenth century witnessed the flourishing of rosary confraternities, which had first appeared in the 1470s; finally in 1569 Pope Pius V consecrated the rosary as an element of Catholic religious practice with the bull Consueverunt Romani Pontifices

Andrea Giannetti (or Zannetti, d. 1575) compiled the text in 1572 from various passages from the spiritual writings of the Spanish Dominican, and it was first printed in Rome in 1573, also at the Angeli press. The first part contains a short history of the rosary devotion, a list of the stations of the churches in Rome and their respective indulgences, various relevant papal decrees, and guidelines for the state of mind that the faithful should cultivate when performing the prayer. The main part of the text contains a series of meditations on the 15 mysteries, divided into the traditional three sections of the joyful, sorrowful and glorious rosaries (gaudioso, doloroso, glorioso), devoted respectively to the Annunciation, Nativity and childhood of Christ; the Passion; and the Resurrection, Assumption, Pentecost and Coronation of the Virgin.

The use of narrative images to assist meditation on the rosary was already well established. Here, each of the three sections is illustrated with five large engravings, one for each mystery, and with a preliminary allegorical engraving of a rosebush, with a central branch-enclosed hollow enclosing an emblem of the main theme (respectively the Madonna with the Child, the Pietà, and the Virgin Crowned), and five large five-petaled roses containing medallions holding miniature versions of each of the scenes shown in the full-page engravings. Of the three further engravings, in the preliminary and final sections (the latter containing various prayers), one shows the author preaching to three eminences, identified by Ruth Mortimer as Pope Gregory XIII, the Emperor Maximilian II, and Philip II of Spain, but used for different purposes in various works issued by the prolific Counter-Reformation publisher and engraver Giovanni Battista de Cavalieri.

ICCU records 24 editions printed in Italy from 1573 to 1607 (a supposed 1572 edition mentioned by Mortimer appears to be a ghost). The present edition reprints de Angelis’ previous edition, of 1573, the earliest recorded of this text, and it appears to use the same engravings. These have been attributed to the Mantuan engraver Adamo Scultori (1530-1585), whose signature appears in the engraved frontispiece of the 1573 edition, within the cartouche that is filled here by the Cavalieri and Oderico imprint. A handful of smaller format editions appeared in Venice and Brescia in 1574-1577. In 1578, a quarto format edition was published in Venice by Giovanni Varisco, illustrated in part with the same copperplates as in the De Angelis editions, by then quite worn (see digitized Getty Research Center copy). 

OCLC locates North American copies of this edition at the National Gallery of Art and the Newberry. 

EDIT-16 CNCE 41981 (and CNCE 78575: a single copy of what appears to be a different issue of this edition); USTC 838985; cf. Mortimer, Italian 218 (1573 edition). Cf. Erminia Ardissino. “Literary and Visual Forms of a Domestic Devotion: The Rosary in Renaissance Italy,” Domestic Devotions in Early Modern Italy (Brill, 2018), pp. 342-371.

Item #4028

Price: $2,850.00

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