Chapter Ten
Expectation and Image(-ination): The Purpose and Reuse of Woodcuts in the Books of Gabriel Giolito de Ferrari

Hilary Barker

The illustrations have a sophistication and animation which the earlier ones lacked. In the scene of the arrival of Roger at Alcina’s isle, or that of the siege of Paris, the landscape backgrounds show wide vistas even in the small space available. There is no sense of crowding, but the compositions are so skillfully arranged that often two or three episodes are included…[1]

Philip Hofer’s comments above refer to the woodcut images made for Gabriel Giolito de Ferrari’s 1542 edition of the Italian epic poem Orlando Furioso, which were used in the close to 30 editions of this work that his press published over the next 20 years. The poem, written by Ludovico Ariosto and first published in 1516, was one of the most popular pieces of vernacular literature in sixteenth-century Italy and was printed in hundreds of editions by many publishers in Italy, France, England, and Germany.[2] Divided into 46 canti in its original state (an additional 5 were published for the first time in 1545 by Paulo Manuzio),[3] Orlando Furioso is an enormous tale of knightly honor (and dishonor) and the madness of love, set against the backdrop of a Saracen invasion of Europe during the rule of Charlemagne. Giolito became famous for his woodcut illustrations of the text, and he would later reuse them in four other publications.

Illustrations were one of many auxiliary features a publisher could add to a bare text to increase its marketability. Brian Richardson argues that “if the work had been printed before, he [the publisher] might want to attract purchasers by having some sort of supplement added.”[4] These supplements could take the form of glossaries, indexes, commentaries, additional texts, linguistic notes, illustrations, or others.[5] Often publishers would include phrases like “novissamente stampato e corretto” or “novissamente alla sua integrità ridotto” on the title pages of editions of frequently printed and error-laden texts such as Dante’s Divine Comedy and Orlando Furioso to assert that their edition was superior.[6] The inclusion of claims of authenticity or ancillary material, however, should not be interpreted as merely adding meaningless bells and whistles to captivate the gullible shopper, the way catchphrases like “New and Improved!” or “Now with 20% MORE!” in modern advertising are often interpreted. Indeed, Richardson argues that the appeal of some of these features were that they made texts “easier to understand and easier to consult”[7]—in short, they improved reader experience.

In this essay I will examine the role of chapter heading images in several publications of Gabriel Giolito de Ferrari: the 1544 Orlando Furioso, the 1573 L’Ulisse di M. Lodovico Dolce, an Italian translation of the Odyssey into ottava rima, and the 1570 L’Achille et l’Enea di Messer Lodovico Dolce, a combined Italian translation of the Iliad of Homer and the Aeneid of Virgil in ottava rima. The chapter heading images of the Orlando Furioso were created specifically for that text and each depicts a specific event or events from the chapter. In the Furioso, the images work with other ancillary paratextual elements, including plot summaries (argomenti) to create a set of reader expectations for each chapter that are fulfilled in its reading. Years later, these same images were reused to illustrate the chapters, or canti, of Lodovico Dolce’s translations of the great classical epics into Italian. In these two texts, a similar system of paratextual elements is employed by the publisher in an attempt to enhance the reading experience and maintain a successful format. However, because the images do not match perfectly with the plots of the poems, the system functions less well than in Orlando Furioso. The dynamic of expectation and fulfillment is disrupted, resulting in a more complex relationship between image and text.

The first thoroughly illustrated edition of Furioso was printed by Niccolo Zoppino in Venice in 1530.[8] This edition included one image at the beginning of each canto, an example that Giolito would follow. As Federica Caneparo has observed, although they have been much overlooked in art historical scholarship, Zoppino’s woodcuts created an entirely new iconography.[9] These illustrations do in fact employ a much simpler style than those of Giolito, in line with that of images in devotional books, while those used by Giolito are larger, more detailed, and more complexly composed. They have the appearance of having been designed by a goldsmith.[10] Indeed, while Giolito’s debt to Zoppino must be acknowledged in both the iconography and partially in the selection of scenes to illustrate, it was Giolito who became famous for his illustrated editions of Furioso. The 46 woodcuts that appear in his 1542 edition were reused in every subsequent illustrated edition published by Giolito, copied by other printers, and even reused by Giolito himself in other publications.

The house of Giolito, in this period run by Gabriele Giolito, was one of the preeminent printing houses in Venice during the Cinquecento, along with Giunti and Manuzio.[11] The incredible success of the printing industry in Cinquecento Venice was largely due to the specialization of various printers, which lead to decreased direct competition.[12] The Gioliti specialized in vernacular literature.[13] Under Gabriel Giolito (who inherited the business from his father Giovanni Giolito de Ferrari), the press was the leading one in Venice in the 1550s, reaching its peak success around 1555, though it continued to prosper into the 1570s. An increasing demand for texts in the volgare in the sixteenth century certainly contributed to the staying power of the Giolito press. In addition, Gabriel Giolito earned a reputation as a scrupulous and dedicated publisher, so much so that he was praised by Lodovico Dolce and Ludovico Domenichi, two major translators and editors active in the Venetian book trade, for his care in printing high quality texts.[14] The great success of the illustrated Furioso, in particular, is attested by the fact that the first sixteen editions appeared in the space of a single decade, between 1542 and 1552.[15]

The woodcuts used by Giolito were in fact so popular, and deemed so appropriate, that they were “borrowed” by several other Venetian printers as well as by bookmen in Florence, Lyons, and Paris.[16] The Giolito illustrations are indeed remarkably sophisticated, often showing several of the major events from a single canto, each clearly recognizable to a reader familiar with the plot. The division of the picture plane into fore-, mid-, and background creates multiple arenas for narrative so that the inclusion of more than one episode does not muddy the composition or inhibit the viewer’s comprehension. The Giolito 1542 edition set the standard for future illustrated editions of Furioso. Later printers would follow the convention of a single woodcut per chapter, but would try to fit as many as six scenes into each, which, according to Hofer, resulted in confusing and artistically less meritorious images.[17]

Giolito’s first edition of the Furioso also set the standard for his own future publications. It’s much admired woodcuts were reused in four other titles: the Discorso sopra il principio di tutti i canti d’Orlando Furioso of Laura Terracina, a verse commentary on the Furioso canto by canto; the Prime imprese del conto Orlando, a prequel to Orlando Furioso by poet Lodovico Dolce; L’Ulisse, Lodovico Dolce’s Italian verse translation of the Odyssey; and L’Achille et l’Enea, Dolce’s translation of the Iliad and the Aeneid into a single Italian verse work.[18] The first of these, the Discorso of Laura Terracina, began to be published even before Giolito stopped printing the Furioso in 1560.[19] Its reuse of images is very straightforward: because each commentary poem corresponds exactly to a canto of the Furioso, the woodcuts likewise correspond exactly. The other three titles, the Prime imprese, L’Ulisse, and L’Achille et l’Enea, are all, like the Furioso, divided into canti. They were all written by Lodovico Dolce in the 1560s and edited and published posthumously by Giolito starting in the early 1570s. It is unclear whether Giolito bought these texts or acquired them by inheritance after Dolce’s death in 1568.[20] Giolito first recruited Dolce as an editor for the 1542 Orlando Furioso after seeing a previous edition of Ariosto that Dolce had edited, and continued to employ him until his death.[21]

In the Giolito editions of Orlando Furioso, L’Ulisse, and L’Achille et l’Enea, the woodcuts work with a system of other paratextual elements to frame the reader’s experience of the text. These elements include extensive subject and thematic indexes that appear after the title page and before the text (called Tavole), short plot summaries of each canto (argomenti, singular argomento), and explanations of the major themes and lessons of each canto (called allegorie). The argomenti and the woodcut illustrations always appear at the beginning of the canto. The allegorie appear at the end in early editions of Orlando Furioso,[22] while in L’Ulisse and L’Achille et l’Enea they appear at the beginning of the canto between the argomento and the illustration. These elements greatly enhance the reading experience by making the volume more navigable and framing the content of the text. Together, the beginning-of-canto paratextual elements create for the reader a series of expectations for the canto at hand that will be fulfilled in the reading of it. I will begin my analysis with a close look at Giolito’s 1554 quarto edition of Orlando Furioso. Since the woodcuts I will be discussing were made specifically for this book, the system of expectation/fulfillment is both clearer and more effective.

In a book the size of Orlando Furioso—in this edition over 500 pages—the woodblock images that appear every 10-15 pages have a very practical purpose. Among the hundreds of pages of precisely spaced ottava rima, they signal the beginnings of the canti to the reader looking for a specific passage. They punctuate the start of each canto by breaking up the otherwise visually monotonous reams of identically spaced verses.[23] As one might flip through a textbook today looking for the right chapter heading, just so could an early modern reader have thumbed through his copy of the Furioso marking his progress by passing images. In addition, the woodblock in the first canto sets the expectation for an easily recognizable “title page” for each subsequent canto.

As previously mentioned, these images do not function in a vacuum. In the 1554 Furioso the format of each chapter is the following: illustration, argomento immediately below ranging from 4 to 12 lines of text in an inverted pyramid format, canto number, canto text with historiated initial capital, followed last by the allegorie usually 7 to 10 lines.

First and last pages of Canto 3 of Giolito’s 1554 Orlando Furioso. Click to enlarge.

First and last pages of Canto 3 of Giolito’s 1554 Orlando Furioso. Click to enlarge.

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The illustration, argomento, and allegorie each frame the reader’s experience in interaction with one another. The images and the argomenti give visual and verbal indications of what happens in the upcoming canto. They are narrative precursors to the actual narrative of the canto. The argomenti mention all of the canto’s most important plot points and the illustrations depict one to three episodes, usually ones that are explicitly mentioned in the accompanying argomento. Each event depicted or mentioned acts like a mile marker as the reader goes through the canto. They create a pre-familiarity with the material and a set of expectations of what will happen. Each time the reader reaches one of these events he or she will experience a moment of recognition, or even of satisfaction at an expectation met, and these recognitions will punctuate the individual canti much the way the images punctuate the book as a whole. It is the publisher’s job to make sure that these expectations (which he creates through the formatting of the book) are met.

The relationship between the pre-canto elements and the canto is mirrored in the relationship between the illustration and the argomento as well. Depending on the reader’s degree of familiarity with the events of Orlando Furioso before encountering this book, the compressed narratives of the woodcuts might be indecipherable. Upon reading the argomento, the events depicted will become clear as they are mentioned. For example, the illustration of Canto 6 provides a bewildering array of elements: in the background, a city with onion domes reminiscent of Islamic architecture; in the foreground a figure on a winged horse descends from the sky to confront a group of armed monsters of various animal-human hybrid appearances (including one riding a giant tortoise) while to the right a tree with a human face looks on. The argomento reads:

“Ruggero portato lungo spatio per l’aria dall Hippogrifo, dicende in un bellisimo piano; nel quale havendolo legato a un Mirto, e volendo bere a un vicino fonte, quell Mirto gli favella, è dicegli, che era Astolfo, reccontandogli, come e quando, e per qual cagione vi fu da Alcina trasformato, e confortandolo a guardarsi dale costei fraudi. Obedisce Ruggero, ma viene assaltato da alcuni Mostri: da quali non potendosi difendere, è sopraguinto da due Damigelle; che lo menane verso la città di Alcina.”[24]

The image immediately becomes much more decipherable. Ruggero and the hippogriff are recognized first, then the tree as Astolfo transfigured by Alcina, then the monsters who attack Ruggero, and finally the city in the background. These initial moments of recognition will be enhanced by the much greater descriptive detail provided in the canto itself. The more familiar a reader is with the plot of Orlando Furioso the easier it will be to identify the images even without the help of the argomento, in which case reading the argomento will confirm his or her expectation that the events depicted will appear in the canto, thereby modeling the confirmation of expectation that will again occur in the reading of the canto. This system works better in some canti than in others, but even if the reader is unsure exactly what to expect in the canto based on the image, he or she expects something that will clarify the image.

Illustration of Canto 6, Orlando Furioso 1554

Illustration of Canto 6, Orlando Furioso 1554. Click to enlarge

 

At the end of each canto in the 1554 Orlando Furioso, the allegorie recap thematically the content of the preceding canto. Giolito clearly thought this system of illustration, argomento, allegorie, and text worked well enough for it to be maintained, in varied iterations, in many of his publications. As expected, because each of the woodcuts was made to fit the content of the specific canto of Orlando Furioso, none of them are repeated. Each scene represents a definite point on the timeline of the text. Even when the scenes are very similar, for example canti 41 and 42 (both scenes with a large tent and some activity outside), two different woodcuts are produced to indicate that these are two separate points in time. The pattern of creation and fulfillment of expectations functions well because the images were designed to correspond closely to the narrative. This pattern is complicated and even disrupted when the woodcuts are reused in different contexts.

The 1554 edition of Orlando Furioso includes at the end an additional section with the Cinque Canti written by Ariosto and published after Orlando Furioso as an addendum. These canti use the same format as the other 46, and are continuously paginated indicating that they were probably printed at the same time. While the first canto includes a new woodcut, probably from the same workshop that created the other 46, new woodcuts were apparently not commissioned for the remaining 4 canti.[25] The woodcut from Canto 30 of Orlando Furioso (which depicts a duel between the knights Ruggero and Mandricardo to settle a dispute over the ownership of a shield) is reused in Canto 2, Canto 3, and Canto 5 of the Cinque Canti for various scenes of combat. Its visual elements are appropriate to any number of one-on-one duels: two knights in armor fighting on horseback while others watch from the sidelines, a structure that could be the walls of a city or a military camp in the background, a discarded shield. In the original context, the shield is highly significant—it is the cause of the duel. When the image is repurposed however, it is just a shield that has been tossed aside in the heat of battle.

Illustration of Canto 30 of Orlando Furioso, Canti 2, 3, & 5 of Cinque Canti

Illustration of Canto 30 of Orlando Furioso, Canti 2, 3, & 5 of Cinque Canti. Click to enlarge.

 

In Canto 4 of the Cinque Canti, the woodcut from Canto 10 of Orlando Furioso has been repurposed. In its original context, the image represents the knight Ruggero on the hippogriff attacking the Orcus, a sea monster. In the background is Angelica, who had been tied naked to a rock to be sacrificed to the Orcus, a sea monster, in an episode reminiscent of the story of Andromeda in Greek mythology. In Canto 4, this woodcut is used to represent Ruggero swallowed by a whale. In this adaptive reuse, details like Angelica in the right background become meaningless, and even confusing. The salient features are the ocean and the sea monster.

Illustration from Canto 10 of Orlando Furioso, Canto 4 of the Cinque Canti

Illustration from Canto 10 of Orlando Furioso, Canto 4 of the Cinque Canti 3. Click to enlarge.

 

Although it is certainly not a perfect match, the iconography of this scene has enough appropriate details that, once the reader has read the argomento (which states that, having been attacked by enemy ships and his own having caught fire, Ruggero jumped into the ocean and was swallowed by a whale) he or she could surmise what it is intended to represent.[26] Still, the lack of perfect correspondence disrupts the pattern of expectation/fulfillment because the reader had to sift through the image, using the argomento as a filter to decide what details matter. This is not even always possible, as in the case of Canto 3 where the argomento mentions several armed conflicts, of which any (or all) could be indicated. The reused images are then less preparatory material for reading the canto than conventional features that must be included in the format of the book. This confusion is amplified when these woodcuts are used in still other contexts.[27] Their reuse in Lodovico Dolce’s Italian verse translations of the great classical epics provides an interesting case study.

Unsurprisingly given the major historical and narrative differences, the images from Orlando Furioso do not map clearly onto the narratives of L’Ulisse and L’Achille et l’Enea. In total, 33 of the woodcuts from Orlando Furioso are used to illustrate the 20 canti of L’Ulisse and the 55 canti of L’Achille et l’Enea. The breakdown of their usage is as follows:

# Used 0 times in L’Ulisse # Used 1 time in L’Ulisse # Used 2 or more times in L’Ulisse
# Used 0 times in L’Achille et   l’Enea 14 6 0
# Used 1 time in L’Achille et l’Enea 6 2 1
# Used 2 or more times in L’Achille et l’Enea 9 8 1

16 in L’Ulisse are used only once in that book
2 in L’Ulisse are used more than once in that book
18 Total images in L’Ulisse (20 total canti)
9 in L’Achille et l’Enea are used only once in that book
18 in L’Achille et l’Enea are used more than once in that book
27 Total Images in L’Achille et l’Enea (55 total canti)
12 are unique (used once between the two books)
21 are used more than once between the two books
21 are used in only one book (includes those used twice or  more in L’Achille et l’Enea)
6 are used only in L’Ulisse
15 are used only in L’Achille et l’Enea
12 are used in both
33 of 47 available woodcuts are used in L’Ulisse and L’Achille et l’Enea

 

The fact that only 33 of 47 known woodcuts were used between the two books, and 21 of these more than once, proves the obvious fact that it was more important to have an appropriate woodcut to illustrate a given canto than to have a unique pictorial identifier for each. Especially in L’Achille et l’Enea, where 46 of the canti share an image with at least one other canto in that book, this multiplication of images affects the way the system of argomento, allegorie and illustration frames the reading experience.

The formats of L’Achille et l’Enea and L’Ulisse are identical to one another, but differ from that of the 1554 Orlando Furioso in several ways. All three maintain the same format for the main text of the canti in their quarto editions, with 2 columns of 5 stanzas each per page, except when paratextual elements intervene. In L’Achille et l’Enea and L’Ulisse, the argomento, which has been standardized to 8 lines of verse, comes first, usually at the top of a page, framed by a rectangular woodcut border. Directly after, comes the allegorie, which tend to be longer than those in the 1554 Furioso.[28] On the next page is the illustration, also in a woodcut border. In total, only 3 different borders are used in L’Achille et l’Enea and L’Ulisse for the argomenti and illustrations—two with motifs of cherubs, garlands, and masks, and one with two small cityscapes, weapons, and a sleeping soldier. The precise fit of the borders with the woodcuts and text of the argomenti indicate that they were likely designed specifically to fit these woodcuts and that the argomenti were adapted to be printable within them.

First two pages of Canto 10 of L’Ulisse. Click to enlarge.

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This rearrangement compared to the Orlando Furioso has several effects. First the movement of the allegorie concentrates the paratextual material at the beginning of the canto and creates a set of thematic expectations in addition to the narrative expectations generated by the argomento. This gives the editor more control over framing how the reader approaches and understands the text. Whereas in the Orlando Furioso, the allegorie pointed backwards to the text of the canto, in L’Achille et l’Enea and L’Ulisse they point forward. In addition, the concentration of explanatory material before the illustration actually helps the reader to decipher the image.

Because the woodcuts in L’Achille et l’Enea and L’Ulisse were made to illustrate Orlando Furioso, they are naturally only partial matches for what they are meant to represent in the later volumes. This at times makes it difficult for the modern reader, and presumably for the Renaissance reader as well, to decipher them. The images have not been assigned to canti at random by any means, but the criteria for matching the two are not very rigorous. A scene might be chosen to represent a specific canto because of its setting, the number of figures,[29] on account of any number of details, or even just for the tone as in the case of battle scenes.[30]

For example, in Canto 7 of L’Ulisse Odysseus washes up on the shores of Phaeacia, clothes himself in leaves, then is clothed by the queen’s daughter and led by a disguised Athena to the palace, where he receives aid from the king and queen. The image accompanying this canto comes from Canto 31 of Orlando Furioso, and depicts Brandimarte (a knight) having fallen off the bridge guarded by Rodomonte (another knight) after a fight while his lover looks on. The great monument that Rodomonte built for Isabella is visible in the right background. In the context of L’Ulisse, the salient details are the man in a body of water and the large building in the background, which could be a castle.

 Orlando Furioso Canto 31, L’Ulisse Canto 7. Click to enlarge.

Orlando Furioso Canto 31, L’Ulisse Canto 7. Click to enlarge.

 

The imaginative viewer could identify the woman on the horse as the princess when she spots Odysseus. But where are her friends? Why is Odysseus wearing heavy armor that surely would have drowned him on the open ocean? Why does he have a horse? These types of inconsistencies between story and image require the reader to either use his or her imagination to make the images fit or allow for deviation from the text. It is very possible that in some cases, certain readers just did not understand why a certain image was used. Other recurring details that require accommodation on the side of the reader are the anachronistic armor and clothing, and the hippogriff which appears in the illustrations from Furioso Canto 33 (L’Ulisse Canto 8, L’Achille et l’Enea Canto 3 and Canto 31) and Furioso Canto 6 (L’Ulisse Canto 11).

The images, then, by requiring such accommodation from the reader, disrupt the pattern of expectation and fulfillment of expectation that we observed in the original 46 canti of Orlando Furioso. Still, the publisher and editor clearly did do their best to make the scenes line up well with the text. The editor does make some accommodations for historical differences. Whereas in the Cinque Canti the woodcut from Canto 30 of Furioso was used 3 times as a generic image of medieval one-on-one combat, in the classical epics duels on horseback are far less common. The most famous man-to-man combats in the Iliad, Odyssey and Aeneid take place with both contestants on foot, as in the case of the famous battle between Patroclus and Hector, or Achilles and Hector. The effort to achieve some degree of historical accuracy in this matter is clear from the fact that between L’Ulisse and L’Achille et l’Enea there are 12 scenes of one-on-one fights on foot between repetitions of the illustrations of canti 18, 24, 27, 33, and 46 of the Furioso,[31] but only 3 scenes of horsed duels.[32]

Degli’Innocenti has suggested as well that Dolce always intended to publish Le prime imprese with Giolito and that, being familiar with the woodcuts available, he added in contextual details to make the relationship between text and image more clear, which would imply that Dolce had specific woodcuts in mind while writing.[33] This is a very interesting theory, and could also apply to L’Achille et l’Enea and L’Ulisse, though any such claim would need to prove that Dolce’s descriptions of scenes are sufficiently different than those of the original Latin and Greek texts from which he translated and that these differences are targeted at specific images. If this were the case, it would also be possible that, given that L’Achille et l’Enea were published by Giolito after Dolce’s death in 1568, such editorial changes were made by the publisher.

The reuse of woodcuts for L’Achille et l’Enea and L’Ulisse (and within these texts) does have several productive effects. In L’Ulisse, 2 woodcuts appear more than once. In L’Achille et l’Enea, 18 woodcuts appear more than once. What results from this intra-textual reuse is a series of visually cued cross-references. When the reader comes upon an image used for the second or even third time, he or she will naturally draw connections—connections that will play into his or her expectations of the canto. Furthermore, it is possible that if someone owned both L’Achille et l’Enea and L’Ulisse (and perhaps even a copy of Giolito’s illustrated Orlando Furioso) he or she would make connections between as well as within the books, though I would not go so far as to claim that the editors necessarily intended to make specific, purposeful cross-references between these three texts (or the other two where these woodcuts were used) based on images.

The role of illustrations in Gabriel Giolito’s intratextual paratexts was clearly a major one. The format that he established with his early printings of Orlando Furioso, which included illustrations to mark each chapter, argomenti, and allegorie, was maintained and adapted throughout his tenure as the head of the Giolito press. One result of this is that the accumulation of paratextual elements structure reading experience and those that appear at the beginning of a chapter create a dynamic of expectation and fulfillment for the canto. The woodcut illustrations give visual clues to plot. They work with the argomenti and allegorie (with varying degrees of consistency) to influence what parts of the narrative that readers pay attention to. In addition, the illustrations visually structure the books, anchoring the beginning of each canto and increasing the books’ usability by making chapters easy to find.

The great success of his Furioso with its fine illustrations and narrative and thematic glosses must have encouraged Giolito to put the same level of care into other publications. This system was also used in his imprints of Boccaccio’s Decameron, which had their own set of woodcuts—one for each of the ten “days” into which the book is divided.[34] When Giolito printed Lodovico Dolce’s translations of the classical epic poems, he decided to continue to use illustrations, argomenti, and allegorie to frame the reader’s encounter with the text. Instead of getting 75 new woodcuts made to illustrate each canto of L’Ulisse and L’Achille et l’Enea, though, he reused woodcuts from the Furioso and by doing so confused the clear relationship between image and text, forcing the reader to make mental accommodations for the inconsistencies. This may be part of why there were fewer editions of L’Ulisse and L’Achille et l’Enea published by Giolito (L’Achille et l’Enea was published in 1570, 1571, and 1572, but not again afterwards), though this also could be a result of changing tastes.[35] By the 1570s, ottava rima was no longer the preferred format for translations of classical poetry, having ceded its pride of place to verso sciolto.[36] In addition, Counter-Reformation tastes were “less favorable to secular vernacular and classical literature (including translations).”[37] All these factors along with Gabriel Giolito’s death in 1578, after which his sons less successfully continued to print, likely contributed to the decreased success of the L’Ulisse and L’Achille et l’Enea.

 

 

Keywords: Dante, Divina Commedia, Lodovico Ariosto, Giovanni Boccaccio, Decameron, book trade, Federica Caneparo, canon, Charlemagne, Luca Degl’Innocenti, Lodovico Dolce, Ludovico Domenichi, England, Gabriele Giolito de’Ferrari, Giovanni Giolito de’Ferrari, France, Lyons-France, Paris, epic genre, Germany, Filippo & Bernardo Giunta, Greek, Philip Hofer, illustration, imitation, interpretation, Italian, Italy, Florence, Rome, Venice, Latin, Paulo Manuzio, paratext, argomenti, commentary, index, Brian Richardson, Laura Terracina, vernacular, Virgil, Aeneid, woodblocks, woodcuts, Niccolo Zoppino

 

 

Bibliography

Ariosto, Lodovico. Orlando Furioso Di M. Lodovico Ariosto, Ornato Di Varie Figure, Con Alcun Stanze. Et Cinque Canti D’un Nuovo Libro Del Medesimo Nuovamente Aggiunti,Ricorretti. Con Alcune Allegorie. Nel Fine Una Breve Espositione, et Tavola Di Tutto Quallo, Che Nell’opera Si Contiene. Venice: Appresso Gabriel Giolito de’Ferrari, 1554.

Bernstein, Jane A. “Printers and Publishers: The Merchants of Venice.” In Print Culture and Music inSixteenth-Century Venice, 9–27. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Boccaccio, Giovanni. Il Decamerone Di Messer Giovanni Boccaccio Con É Varier Figvre; Nvovamente Stampato et Ricorretto per Messer Antonio Brvcioli Con La Dichiaratione Di Tvtti I Vocaboli Detti Proverbie Figvre et Modi Di Dire Incogniti et Difficili Che Sono in Esso Libro Ampliati in Gran Numero per Il Medesimo; Con Nvova Dicharatione Di Piv Regole Dela Lingva Toscana Neccessarie a Sapere a Chi Qvella Vvol Parlar O Scrivere. Venice: per Gabriel iolito di ferrarii, 1563.

Bongi, Salvatore. Annali di Gabriel Giolito de’ Ferrari da Trino di Monferrato, stampatore in Venezia. 2 vols. Rome: Presso i Principali Librai, 1890.

Caneparo, Federica. “A Look at the Orlando Furioso: The Illustrated Edition by Nicolò Zoppino.” Paper presented at the RSA Annual Meeting, Grand Hyatt, Washington, DC, November, 2014.

Degl’Innocenti, Luca. “‘Ex pictura poesis’: invenzione narrativa e tradizione figurativa ariostesca nelle ‘Prime imprese del conte Orlando’ di Lodovico Dolce.” In “Tra mille carte vive ancora.” Ricezione del “Furioso” tra immagini e parole, edited by L. Bolzoni, S. Pezzini, and G. Rizzarelli, 303–20. Lucca: Pacini Fazzi, 2010.

Dolce, Lodovico. L’Achille et l’Enea di Messer Lodovico Dolce; dove egli tessendo l’historia della Iliade d’Homero à qvella dell’Eneide di Vergilio, ambedve l’ha divinamente ridotte in ottava rima. Con argomenti, et alle-gorie per ogni canto, et due tauole: l’una delle sentence; l’altra de i nomi, & delle cose piu notabili. Venice: Appresso Gabriel Giolito de’Ferrari, 1570.

—. Le prime imprese del conte Orlando, di M. Lodovico Dolce. Da lvi composte in ottava rima, et nvovamente stampate. Con argomenti et allegorie per ogni canto. Et una tauola de’nomi & delle cose più notabili. Venice: G. Giolito de’Ferrari, 1572.

—. L’Vlisse di M. Lodovico Dolce, da lvi tratto dall’Odissea d’Homero et ridotto in ottava rima, nel qvale si raccontano tvtti gli errori, & le fatiche d’Vlisse dalla partita sua di Troia, fino al ritorno alla pa-tria per lo spatio di uenti anni. Con argomenti et allegorie a ciascun canto, cosi dell’Historie, come delle Fauole, & con due Tauole: una della sententie, & l’altra delle cose piu notabili. Venice: Appresso Gabriel Giolito de’Ferrari, 1573.

Hofer, Philip. “Illustrated Editions of ‘Orlando Furioso.’” In Fragonard Drawings for Ariosto, 27–40. New York: Pantheon Books, 1945.

Javitch, Daniel. Proclaiming a Classic: The Canonization of “Orlando Furioso.” Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2014.

Nuovo, Angela, and Christian Coppens. I Giolito e la stampa: nell’Italia del XVI secolo. Geneva: Droz, 2005.

Richardson, Brian. Print Culture in Renaissance Italy: The Editor and the Vernacular Text, 1470–1600. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

Terracina, Laura. Discorso sopra il principio di tutti i canti d’Orlando furioso. Di nuovo ristampato, et con diligenza revisto. Venice: Appresso Gabriel Giolito de’ Ferrari, 1557.


  1. Philip Hofer, ‘‘Illustrated Editions of ‘Orlando Furioso,’’’ in Fragonard Drawings for Ariosto, by Jean-Honoré Fragonard (New York: Pantheon Books, 1945), 31.
  2. Luca Degl’Innocenti, ‘‘‘Ex pictura poesis’: invenzione narrativa e tradizione figurativa ariostesca nelle ‘Prime imprese del conte Orlando’ di Lodovico Dolce,’’ in ‘‘Tra mille carte vive ancora.’’ Ricezione del ‘‘Furioso’’ tra immagini e parole, ed. L. Bolzoni, S. Pezzini, and G. Rizzarelli (Lucca: Pacini Fazzi, 2010), 303–20; Brian Richardson, Print Culture in Renaissance Italy: The Editor and the Vernacular Text, 1470–1600 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 80–122.
  3. Richardson, Print Culture in Renaissance Italy, 98.
  4. Ibid., 2.
  5. Ibid., 2–3.
  6. ‘‘Very recently printed and corrected’’ and ‘‘Very recently restored to its integrity.’’ Ibid., 4. This excellent book focuses on the role of the editor in Italian publishing.
  7. Ibid., 3.
  8. Hofer, ‘‘Illustrated Editions of ‘Orlando Furioso, 28.
  9. Federica Caneparo, ‘‘A Look at the Orlando Furioso: The Illustrated Edition by Nicolò Zoppino,’’ paper presented at the RSA Annual Meeting, Grand Hyatt, Washington, DC, November, 2014.
  10. Hofer, “Illustrated Editions of ‘Orlando Furioso,’’’ 30. Note the fine lines and crosshatched shading.
  11. Jane A. Bernstein, ‘‘Printers and Publishers: The Merchants of Venice,’’ in Print Culture and Music in Sixteenth-Century Venice (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), 10.
  12. After glutting the market for Greek and Latin works in translation in the 1470s, the bookmakers whose businesses survived responded by increasing specialization and diversifying the corpus of titles being printed. Ibid., 17.
  13. Bernstein, ‘‘Printers and Publishers,’’ 17; see also Angela Nuovo and Christian Coppens, I Giolito e la stampa: nell’Italia del XVI secolo (Geneva: Droz, 2005); Salvatore Bongi, Annali di Gabriel Giolito de’ Ferrari da Trino di Monferrato, stampatore in Venezia, vol. 1 (Rome: Presso i Principali Librai, 1890).
  14. Richardson, Print Culture in Renaissance Italy, 3–4; Nuovo and Coppens, I Giolito e la stampa, 67–94.
  15. Bernstein, ‘‘Printers and Publishers,’’ 17–18; Hofer, ‘‘Illustrated Editions of ‘Orlando Furioso,’’’ 30.
  16. Hofer, ‘‘Illustrated Editions of ‘Orlando Furioso,’’’ 31; Bernstein, ‘‘Printers and Publishers,’’ 18. Hofer states that although they were copied ‘‘with varying degrees of plagiarism,’’ the copies ‘‘never seriously competed [with the Giolito originals] on a basis of artistic quality’’ (31).
  17. Hofer, ‘‘Illustrated Editions of ‘Orlando Furioso,’’’ 31.
  18. Laura Terracina, Discorso sopra il principio di tutti i canti d’Orlando furioso, Di nuovo ristampato, et con diligenza revisto. (Venice: Appresso Gabriel Giolito de’ Ferrari, 1557); Lodovico Dolce, Le prime imprese del conte Orlando, di M. Lodovico Dolce. Da lvi composte in ottava rima, et nvovamente stampate. Con argomenti et allegorie per ogni canto. Et una tauola de’nomi & delle cose più notabili (Venice: G. Giolito de’Ferrari, 1572); Lodovico Dolce, L’Vlisse di M. Lodovico Dolce, da lvi tratto dall’Odissea d’Homero et ridotto in ottava rima, nel qvale si raccontano tvtti gli errori, & le fatiche d’Vlisse dalla partita sua di Troia, fino al ritorno alla patria per lo spatio di uenti anni. Con argomenti et allegorie a ciascun canto, cosi dell'Historie, come delle Fauole, & con due Tauole: una della sententie, & l'altra delle cose piu notabili (Venice: Appresso Gabriel Giolito de’Ferrari, 1573); Lodovico Dolce, L’Achille et l’Enea di Messer Lodovico Dolce; dove egli tessendo l’historia della Iliade d’Homero à qvella dell’Eneide di Vergilio, ambedve l’ha divinamente ridotte in ottava rima. Con argomenti, et allegorie per ogni canto, et due tauole: l’una delle sentence; l’altra de i nomi, & delle cose piu notabili (Venice: Appresso Gabriel Giolito de’ Ferrari, 1570).
  19. Hofer conjectures that Giolito stopped printing the Orlando Furioso because he foresaw an increasing demand for classical works in translation as well as for devotional works following the Council of Trent, even though Orlando remained popular through at least the 1580s. Perhaps the proliferation of editions, including those with illustrations copied from his own, made the competition too stiff and the profits too small to continue printing editions of this poem. See Hofer, ‘‘Illustrated Editions of ‘Orlando Furioso,’’’ 31.
  20. Richardson, Print Culture in Renaissance Italy, 97.
  21. Ibid.; Degl’Innocenti, ‘‘‘Ex pictura poesis,’’’ 305.
  22. I have been unable to examine editions printed after 1554 to confirm if this remained the practice.
  23. They also increase the price and luxury of the book. See Richardson, Print Culture in Renaissance Italy.
  24. ‘‘Ruggero, brought a long ways through the air by the hippogriff [the winged horse], descends to a beautiful field: having tied the hippogriff to a myrtle tree and wishing to drink from a nearby spring, the myrtle speaks to him and tells him that he was Astolfo [the King of England], recounting to him how and when and for what reason he was transformed by Alcina and counseling him to guard himself from her tricks. Ruggero obeys, but he is assaulted by some monsters from which he is unable to defend himself, and is overcome by two ladies in waiting, who drag him towards the city of Alcina.’’ Lodovico Ariosto, Orlando Furioso Di M. Lodovico Ariosto, Ornato Di Varie Figure, Con Alcun Stanze. Et Cinque Canti D’un Nuovo Libro Del Medesimo Nuovamente Aggiunti, & Ricorretti. Con Alcune Allegorie. & Nel Fine Una Breve Espositione, et Tavola Di Tutto Quallo, Che Nell’opera Si Contiene (Venice: Appresso Gabriel Giolito de’ Ferrari, 1554), 38. Translation my own.
  25. It is clear from the specificity of the imagery of the woodcut accompanying the Canto Primo that it was intended to represent a specific scene: the deliberation of the Fates, who appear seated in a round building with a coffered domed reminiscent of the Pantheon in Rome.
  26. Ariosto, Orlando Furioso, 568.
  27. Degl’Innocenti, ‘‘‘Ex pictura poesis.’’’ Their presence in Le prime imprese del conte Orlando has been studied already by Luca Degli’Innocenti.
  28. Richardson comments: ‘‘Vernacular editors in Venice in this period [1546–60] appear to have inserted more and more exegetic items. There was an ever freer use of linguistic revisions based on editors’ subjective opinions on what the author should have written.’’ The increasing presence of the editor in vernacular texts in the middle of the sixteenth century may be part of why the allegorie of these volumes are so much longer than those in the Orlando Furioso. See Richardson, Print Culture in Renaissance Italy, 109.
  29. Degl’Innocenti, ‘‘‘Ex pictura poesis,’’’ 310.
  30. For example, the illustration from Orlando Furioso Canto 40 which depicts the attack on Biserta shows an army storming across a landscape and attacking the walls of a city that is already partially burning. It is used five times within L’Achille et l’Enea: in Canto 5 it represents the capture of Thebes, in Canto 8 and Canto 20 and Canto 28 it represents various episodes in the battle of Troy, and in Canto 45 it represents Turnus’ attack on the camp of Aeneas during which Turnus burns his enemy’s ships. Its features are general enough that it is widely applicable to scenes of war.
  31. The illustration from Canto 18 of Orlando appears 3 times in L’Achille et l’Enea; that of Canto 24 once in L’Ulisse; that of Canto 27 once in L’Ulisse and twice in L’Achille et l’Enea; that of Canto 33 once in L’Ulisse and twice in L’Achille et l’Enea; and that of Canto 46 twice in L’Achille et l’Enea.
  32. The illustration of Canto 30 of Orlando appears twice in L’Achille et l’Enea and that of Canto 35 once in L’Achille et l’Enea.
  33. Degl’Innocenti, ‘‘‘Ex pictura poesis,’’’ 309–12.
  34. Giovanni Boccaccio, Il Decamerone Di Messer Giovanni Boccaccio Con Nvove É Varier Figvre; Nvovamente Stampato et Ricorretto per Messer Antonio Brvcioli Con La Dichiaratione Di Tvtti I Vocaboli Detti Proverbie Figvre et Modi Di Dire Incogniti et Difficili Che Sono in Esso Libro Ampliati in Gran Numero per Il Medesimo; Con Nvova Dicharatione Di Piv Regole Dela Lingva Toscana Neccessarie a Sapere a Chi Qvella Vvol Parlar O Scrivere (Venice: per Gabriel iolito di ferrarii, 1563).
  35. Daniel Javitch, Proclaiming a Classic: The Canonization of ‘‘Orlando Furioso’’ (Princeton University Press, 2014), 77.
  36. Ibid.
  37. Richardson, Print Culture in Renaissance Italy, 140.