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Trattato Dell'Arte De La Pittura Di Gio. Paolo Lomazzo Milanese Pittore. Diviso in sette libri. Ne' quali si contiene tutta la Theorica, & la prattica d'essa pittura. Con Privilegio.

Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo

RA Collection: Book

Record number




In Milano.: Appresso Paolo Gottardo Pontio,, l'Anno 1584. Con licentia de' Superiori.

Physical Description

[xl], 700 [i.e. 698], [ii] p.: illus.; 219 mm. (Octavo.)


[T.-p.; dedic.; addresses and poems by various hands] - Tavola De I Capitoli - Tavola De Le Piu Eccellente opere ... citati - Sonetto De L'Autore - Proemio - [Text] - Tavola De I Nomi ... citati - Errori; Registro; [colophon].

Responsibility Note

The work is dedicated by the author to Carlo Emanuello, Granduca Di Savoia.


RIBA, Early printed books, 5 (2003), no. 3986, p.2688-9 [on the 1585 edition].

R. Klein, La forme et l'intelligible: écrits sur la Renaissance et l'art moderne ( 1970; Eng. tr. by M. Jay 1979), p. 43-88, 161-9; G.M. Ackermann, 'Lomazzo's Treatise on painting', in Art Bulletin, 49:4 (1967), p.317-26; R. Ciardi, 'Struttura e significato delle opere teoriche del Lomazzo', in Crit. A., XII (1965), p. 20-30, XIII (1966), p. 37-44.

Summary Note

In this Trattato and in his Idea del tempio della pittura (1590) Lomazzo attempted to create a philosophy of art within a cosmology that owes something to Plato, Thomas Aquinas, Ficino and H.C. Agrippa. The seven books of the Trattato address 1. proportion; 2. gesture and expression, and planetary influence on temperament; 3. colour; 4. light and optics; 5. perspective; 6.7. perspective, and the application of these theories to composition and specific subject-matter.

An English translation of this work by Haydocke was published in 1598 (A Tracte containing the Artes of curious Paintinge), and a French translation in 1649.


Lomazzo's Scritti sulle arti, ed. R. P. Ciardi, were republished in 1973-4 (2 v., Florence: Marchi & Bertolli).


Recorded in RAA Library, Catalogue, 1802.

Binding Note

20th-century brown morocco, upper and lower covers decorated with gilt border and blind-tooled diamond panels; gilt-deorated spine lettered 'Lomazzo Dell' Arte De La Pittura 1584'.


Art - Painting - Theory - History
Treatises - Manuals - Italy - 16th century - Renaissance