Fra Giocondo

Title Vitruvius iterum et Frontinus à Iocundo revisi repurgatique...
Imprint Florence, F. Giunta, 1513
Einsiedeln, Stiftung Bibliothek Werner Oechslin, A 04c ; app. 227
Subject Architecture
Transcribed version of the text


     The edition that Filippo Giunta procured in October , 1513, was the first pocket edition of Vitruvius (Fowler 394, RIBA 3492), which imitates the celebrated Aldine editions with the text presented in italics. It is accompanied by Frontinus’ treatise, De aquæductibus, as was the case in 1496 and 1497. It followed the illustrated edition that Fra Giocondo had published in Venice in 1511 including the illustrations, basic versions of the 1511 block prints, reduced in order to be adapted to the small format (8°). It has been proved that Giocondo himself went back over the text, the index and the illustrations. A copy from 1511 kept at the Centro internazionale di studi di archittetura Andrea Palladio, which was used to prepare the Giunta edition (Tura 2011, pp. 29-36) proves this. Deleting inappropriate paratext was envisaged: the apostolic privilege, the dedication to Pope Julius II (he died in February 1513) which would be replaced by a dedication to Giuliano de’ Medici, the register, the Venitian privilege and the colophon. The index is crossed out. Four additional illustrations were planned (ff. 17, 23v, 34, 146). It turns out that Giocondo’s corrections are concerned above all with assimilating the errata from 1511, including the illustrations. Thus he re-established the division of chapter 3, book VI into two distinct chapters. He also reviewed the appearance of the index by improving the alphabetical entries with two initial letters, then regrouped terms in the order in which they appear in the text.
     The book was re-edited in 1522 by Filippo Giunta’s heirs.

Frédérique Lemerle
(Centre national de la recherche scientifique, CESR, Tours) – 2017

Critical bibliography

L. A. Ciapponi, “Fra Giocondo da Verona and his Edition of Vitruvius”, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 47, 1984, pp. 72-90.

Giovanni Giocondo umanista, architetto e antiquario, a cura di P. Gros & P. N. Pagliara, Venice, Marsilio, 2015.

F. Lemerle, “Philandrier et Giocondo”, Giovanni Giocondo umanista, architetto e antiquario, a cura di P. Gros & P. N. Pagliara, Venice, Marsilio, 2015, pp. 185-194.

F. Lemerle & Y. Pauwels, Architectures de papier. La France et l’Europe (XVIe-XVIIe siècles), Turnhout, Brepols, 2013, pp. 18, 31-32.

A. Tura, “Un Vitruvio a Vicenza, un Alberti a New York”, Pegasus, Berliner Beiträge zum Nachleben der Antike, 13, 2011, pp. 29-39.