Media Information

 
 
 
Collection:
Catena-Historic Gardens and Landscapes Archive
Image No.:
200098
Title:
Hypnerotomachie, ou Discours du Songe de Poliphile
View:
[The altar's male symbol of fertility]
Dates:
1561
Location:
Europe--France--Ile- de-France--Paris
Location Type:
Creation
Culture:
French
Period:
Renaissance
Creator:
author
Colonna, Francesco
Attributed
1433/34-1527
Italian
Materials:
paper
Techniques:
woodcut (process)
Measurements:
33.8 x 22.2 cm
Repository:
New York, NY, USA, Private Collection, New York
Category:
Villas
Work Type:
Books
Subjects:
Romances; Pleasure gardens; Dreams; Fertility (allegory); Gardens; Arbors; Berceaux; Spring (allegorical figure); Penis; Male allegorical figures; Animal sacrifice; Festivals
Work Notes:
Collation: a6 A-Bb6 Cc8 = 164 ff., complete. With engraved woodcut title-page and 181 woodcuts illustrating the text, of which 13 are full-page, several crible initials in preliminary text, large 9-line floriated arabesque initials forming an acrostic throughout, Kerver's unicorn device (Renouard 515) on verso of final leaf. Folio, 338 x 222 mm, bound in nineteenth-century calf, marbled endpapers.

A superb French Edition of the most famous illustrated book of the Renaissance. A large number of these magnificent illustrations are dedicated to gardens. The designer of the original 1499 Aldus woodcuts remains unidentified although speculation has included artists such as Mantegna and Giovanni Bellini. Nor has the author of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili been identified with certainty. It was probably written by Francesco Colonna, a Dominican from Treviso, in Latin about 1445. Its two main themes are the allegorical dream-journey of Poliphilus in search of his love Polia, and the praise of Antique art and culture.
Image Notes:
"On the surface of this venerable altar there arose, firm and rigid, the rude image of the protector of gardens with all his decent and proper attributes. A domed bower, supported by four posts driven into the ground, shaded the mysterious altar. These posts were lovingly decorated with flowery and fruited greenery, and the roof was covered all over with a host of flowers."
Rights Type:
fair use

Hypnerotomachie, ou Discours du Songe de Poliphile