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Orlando Furioso Di M. Lodovico Ariosto Tomo I. (-IV.)

Lodovico Ariosto

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Variant Title

Opere Di M. Lodovico Ariosto


In Venezia: MDCCLXXII., Presso Antonio Zatta.

Physical Description

4 vols.; 344 mm. (Quarto).

General Note

Vol. I: [16], lx, [300] p., frontis., engr. t.-pl., [19] pl. (incl. t.-pl. for Pt. II.). - Vol. II: [428] p., engr. t.-pl., [14] pl. (incl. t.-pl. for Pt. II.). - Vol. III.: [414] p., engr. t.-pl., [15] pl. (incl. t.-pl. for Pt. II.) - Vol. IV: [542] p., engr. t.-pl., [13] pl. (incl. t.-pl. for Pt. II.)


Vol. I: [Half-title] - Avviso Al Legatore Per la distribuzione delli seguenti Rami [1-8] - [Frontis.; engr. t.-pl., dedic.] - Avviso Dello Stampatore Sulla presente Edizione - Vita Di Msr. Lodovico Ariosto [with 6 pl. incl. port.] -Noi Riformatori Dello Studio di Padova [approbation, 1757] - Testamentum Spectabilis D. Ludovici De Areostis - [Text of parts I, II, cantos 1-12, with 13 pl., incl. t.-pl. for Pt. II]. - Vol. II: [Engr. t.-pl.] - [Text of parts I, II, cantos 13-25, with 14 pl., incl. t.-pl. for Pt. II.]. - Vol. III: [Engr. t.-pl.] - [Text of parts I, II, cantos 26-39, with 15 pl., incl. t.-pl. for Pt. II.]. - Vol. IV: [Engr. t.-pl.] - [Text of cantos 40-46, with 7 pl.] - I Cinque Canti [text, with t.-pl. for Tom. III. Pt. II. and 5 pl.] - [Essays and notes] - Indice Delle Materie Del Furioso.

Responsibility Note

Some plates are unsigned, but many are signed as designed by Pie. Ant. Novelli. In Volume I three are signed as designed by Io. Carri Ferrar; one, by Aloys Passega Ferrar; in Volume III two are signed as designed by Giuseppe Zaise. Most plates are signed as engraved by Giu. Zuliani; three, as by Giuseppe Daniotto; six, as by F. Fanbrini; one, as by J. Leonardis; five, as by Tomaso Baratti; four, as by Giacomo Malosso. Some head- and tail-pieces are signed - as drawn by G. Zompini, B. Crivellari or Gioa. Magnini, or as engraved by 'G.M.', B. Crivellari, Nicol. Lindeman, 'C.P.E.', Z. Magnini or M. Giampiccoli; but most are not signed.

Most carry the imprint of Antonio Zatta.

All the elaborate borders which decorate every page are unsigned.

The publication is dedicated by Antonio Zatta to Lord Bute.


R. Cesarani, 'Ludovico Ariosta e la cultura figurativa del suo tempo', in Studies in the Italian Renaissance, ed. G.P. Biasin (1985), p. 145-66; Da Carlevarijs ai Tiepolo: incisori veneti e friulani del settecento [exhibition catalog] (1983); R.W. Lee: Names on trees: Ariosto into art (1977); C. Gnudi, 'Ariosto e le arti figurative', in Congresso Internazionale Ludovico Ariosto: Rome 1975, p. 331-401; P. Barocchi, 'Fortuna dell' Ariosto nella trattatistica figurativa', in Critica e storia letteraria: studi offerti a Mario Fubini, I (1970), p.388-405; M. Levey, 'Tiepolo's treatment of classical story at Villa Valmarana', in J. Warburg & Courtauld Institutes, 20 (1957), p. 298-317; M. Lanckoronska, Die venezianische Buchgraphik des XVIII. Jahrhunderts (1950); G. Morazzoni, Il libro illustrato del settecento (1943); M. Voltolina, 'P.A. Novelli illustratore di libri e incisore', in Padova (1933 marzo).

Summary Note

Ariosto's Orlando furioso, a romance-epic on the theme of a war of Charlemagne against the Arabs, was first published in 1516 (revised in 1532). Its descriptive passages have proved attractive to many artists, including Fragonard, Tiepolo and Doré. By 1802 the Royal Academy had acquired not only this illustrated Italian text of Ariosto but also Harington's English translation (1634 edition) - as part of its collection of source-material for subjects of historical painting. A striking example of such treatment of literary subjects is given in the Villa Valmarana at Vicenza, where Tiepolo decorates four rooms on the subject of love, one with scenes from Homer, one from Virgil, one from Ariosto, and one from Tasso.


Purchased from Francesco Sastres for £6 6s. on 19 April 1788 (see his invoice of that date 'for books sent to Mr. Wilton for the Royal Academy').

Binding Note

Late 18th-century mottled calf; bound for the Royal Academy by John Miller in 1788 (see his bill for £1 16s. dated 13 July 1788); ? early 20th-century re-back in morocco, spines lettered 'Ariosto I (-IV) R.A. 1772'.

Name as Subject


Heroes - Arabs - France - History - 8th century
Italian poetry - Epics - Epic poetry - Romances - 16th century
Illustrated books - Pictorial works - 18th century


Giovanni Andrea Barotti
Antonio Zatta, publisher
Pietro Antonio Novelli, draughtsman
John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, dedicatee
Giuliano Zuliani, engraver
Io. Carri, draughtsman
Aloys. Passega, draughtsman
Giuseppe Zaise, draughtsman
Jacopo Leonardis, engraver
Tomasso Baratti, engraver
Giovanni Magnini, draughtsman, engraver
Marco Sebastiano Giampiccoli, engraver
Giacomo Malosso, engraver
John Miller, binder