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.