Order Nr. 100392 THE BOOKS OF VENICE (IL LIBRO VENEZIANO). Lisa Pon, Craig Kallendorf.


  • New Castle, Delaware, and Venice, Italy: Oak Knoll Press, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, and La Musa Talìa, 2009.
  • 6.75 x 9.5 inches
  • paperback, dust jacket
  • 632 pages
  • ISBN: 9781584562573

Price: $85.00  other currencies

Order Nr. 100392

The Books of Venice (Il libro veneziano) contains a series of essays (in English and Italian) exploring Venetian book history from the Quattrocento through current production, books printed "in the shadow of Aldus Manutius." Venice's books, like her art and architecture, have long been considered one of her greatest glories. Some of the earliest printers in Italy were Venetian, and Venice remained one of the world's premier book producers through the sixteenth century. Great printers like the Remondini and Ongania continued to work there in later centuries, and as this volume shows, Venice continues to support an active printing tradition, both commercially and privately.

The volume takes its title from the name of an international conference that was held in Venice on this subject in March 2007. Most of the papers from this conference are included here, in suitably expanded form, providing a survey of the high points of Venetian printing from the fifteenth century through the twenty-first. Case studies focus on outstanding individuals like Aldus Manutius, Erhard Ratdolt, Peter Ugelheimer, Antonio Moretto, Francesco Sansovino, Claudio Merulo, and Apostolo Zeno. Other essays discuss the role of anonymous buyers, readers, and performers, and analyses of archival documents and marks in the books themselves are complemented by studies of how Venetian books arrived in collections throughout Europe. An essay on Venetian libraries by Marino Zorzi serves as an introduction to the volume, and a consideration of the shadowy lacunae in Venetian publishing by Neil Harris concludes the main section.

In the fall of 2006, Venice was host to the American master printer Peter Koch, who set to work on a deluxe edition of Joseph Brodsky's poetic ruminations on Venice, "Watermark." At the conclusion of the conference, Koch's book was formally presented at Venice's Ateneo Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti, where Brodsky's book had first been presented eighteen years before. The Books of Venice contains an essay on "Watermark" by Koch from this presentation, along with other essays that set Koch's book into the tradition of fine press printing in Italy.

Lisa Pon is Assistant Professor of Art History at Southern Methodist University and exhibition reviews editor of SHARP News. She has published essays in Word & Image, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, Print Quarterly, and Art History, and is author of Raphael, Dürer and Marcantonio Raimondi: Copying and the Italian Renaissance Print (Yale University Press, 2004). Her next book concerns an early-fifteenth-century woodcut that becomes a miraculous icon in the Northern Italian city of Forlì.

Craig Kallendorf is Professor of English and Classics and Cornerstone Faculty Fellow at Texas A&M University. He is the author of several books in book history, including two with a specifically Venetian focus: A Bibliography of Venetian Editions of Virgil, 1470-1599 (Olschki, 1991) and Virgil and the Myth of Venice: Books and Readers in the Italian Renaissance (Oxford, 1999). His catalogue of the Junius Spencer Morgan Virgil collection at Princeton University will be published later this year by Oak Knoll Press

Co-published with Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana and La Musa Talia; available in Italy from La Musa Talia (www.lamusatalia.it).