Page 1

IN SEARCH OF ALDUS PIUS MANUTIUS

a campo Sant’Agostin


ALDUS PIUS MANUTIUS


Venezia M M XVI I I

Š Damocle Edizioni Tutti i diritti riservati Cover: Aldine Device No. 1, first appeared January 1501 ISBN 978-88-943223-2-3


IN SEARCH OF ALDUS PIUS MANUTIUS a campo Sant’Agostin

Johannes M. P. Knoops Associate Professor FIT/SUNY


1500

Campo Sant’Agostin 2311 refers to civico numero #2311 San Polo on the Rio Terà Secondo, 2343 refers to civico numero #2343 San Polo on the Calle della Chiesa.

6


RIO

BA

LD

OL

A

O

RG

G

N

PE

N

SA

SA

A

DI

DI

LL

I

IO

DA

M

O

AC

O

O

RI

O

’ LL

RIO

DE

R

CA

MP

23

Ponte dell’Isola

11

Ponte Natale Palazzo Soranzo-Pisani O

SA

NT

The erroneous location of the Aldine Press

’A

GO

STIN 23

43

The ancient bakery

23

Chiesa Sant’Agostin

21

C

7

A

LL

E

D

EL

PI

The true location of the Aldine Press ST

O

R


1500

2311 Rio Terà Secondo At no. 2311, a few yards along on the right-hand side, stands a small Gothic palace with a pleasant balcony round the three central windows on the second floor. This was the home of one of the great printing presses of the Renaissance. By the end of the fifteenth century, Venice’s two hundred printers had issued more works than Rome, Florence, and Milan put together. Although the press here was not entirely free, it was at least protected from the worst of the Church’s meddling. Most famous of the Venetian presses was that of Aldus Manutius. Under the imprint of the dolphin and anchor, it quickly became known for its fine editions of the classics. Ian Littlewood, A Literary Companion To Venice, New York 1995 8


Palazzo Soranzo-Pisani | Rio della Pergola | 2311 Rio TerĂ Secondo 9


1828

Il pristino errore ...allorquando nel 1877 gli studenti di lettere greche nello studio di Padova vollero donare a Venezia una nuova lapide in onore del Manuzio, collocossi anche questa, non senza l’intervento di dotti personaggi, vicino a quella dello Zenier, sanzionando cosÏ il pristino errore. Giuseppe Tassini, Curiosità Veneziane, Venezia 1887

10


1828 plaque placed by Abbot Vincenzo Zenier of the Chiesa San TomĂ

1877 plaque placed by students from the School of Greek letters at the University of Padua, class of 1876-77 11


avendo recapito presso S. Agostino Alessandro Sarti, Ferrara 1498 March 14

Venetiis, in casa de M. Aldo, apresso santo Agostino dove se stampa Marcus Musurus at Carpi to John Gregoropoulos (1500) March 14

PERCHÉ NO:

Rio della Pergola? Venetiis. In casa de messer Aldo, appresso sant’Agostino Marcus Musurus at Carpi to John Gregoropoulos (1500) April 4

A la stampa de miser Aldo Romano, sul campo de Santo Agustino, accante el Pestore. In Venesia Zacharias Callierges to John Gregoropoulos (1500) August 22

Venetiis in casa de meesser Aldo, apresso sancto Augustino dove se stampa Marcus Musurus at Carpi to John Gregoropoulos (1500) September 20 12


Messire aldo Imprimeur demourant a Venise davant St. Augustin, ou les bailler en la botique de livres a lenseigne de la tour, pres de pont Rialto Jean Chapelain at Buda to Aldus (1502) December 19

Venetias a sancto Agostino Scipione Forteguerri at Rome to Aldus 1504 December 11

Santo Agostino Scipione Forteguerri at Rome to Aldus 1505 January 13

PERCHÉ NO:

Palazzo Soranzo-Pisani? A Santo Agostino Scipione Forteguerri at Rome to Aldus 1505 December 19

[

All known descriptions of the Aldine Press’s first location in San Polo based on H. George Fletche III’s New Aldine Studies, San Francisco 1988 13

]


The erroneous location 2311

DOVE?

Rio della Pergola Numerous maps prior to 1821 illustrate how 2311 had been situated on a conspicuous canal, the Rio della Pergola. Since the fondamenta in front of 2311 was so narrow, it would have been impossible not to mention the canal when discussing this location. Prior to 1808, the Rio della Pergola was filled in from Rio di San Giacomo dall’Orio to the corner of the Palazzo Soranzo-Pisani. Then after 1816 the Rio della Pergola had been filled in further to the Ponte Natale, and then for a third and final time from the Ponte Natale to the Rio di San Boldo prior to 1821. So when Abbot Zenier placed his plaque in 1828, the rio fronting 2311 had been turned into a rio terà. The street is now known as Rio Terà Secondo. 14


Approximately 1798 “Venezia. Ks Lodovico Ughi delint.” by Teodoro Viero. Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

1821 from “Iconografia delle trenta Parrocchie di Venezia” by Giovanni Battista Paganuzzi. Cini Foundation. 15


The true location 2343

MA SEMPRE:

Campo Sant’Agostin Though 2343 is now known to be on the Calle della Chiesa, prior to the 19th century Campo Sant’Agostin was understood to surround the Chiesa Sant’Agostin on all three sides like so many other churches in Venice including San Polo, Santa Maria Formosa and the Frari. We clearly see the campo depicted as surrounding the church in various aerial views including Barbari’s view of 1500. There are at least two maps, the Vallardi map of 1830 and the Orlandini map of 1845, which label the campo as surrounding the south side of the church. Since the church’s demolition in 1872, a much larger apartment block took its place. This encroachment now alters the relationship between the true site and the campo. 16


1500 “Veduta di Venezia,” by Jacopo de’Barbari

1830 “Pianta Topografica Della R.a Città Di Venezia Con XIX De Suoi PrincipaliProspetti,” by Santo Vallardi 17


STILL HERE TODAY

Il pistor

E poiché nella soprascritta della lettera del Calergi leggonsi quelle due parole: el pestore, precedute da altra parola, che, non potendosi forse rilevare nel manoscritto, venne sostituita da puntini, ma che potrebbe essere stata un di sopra, oppure un presso, le lapidi suindicate si trasferiscano sopra, o vicino la pistoria, che appunto è aperta in quel sito, e la cui esistenza è tanto antica da trovarsi fino nel catasto del 1661 una prossima strada contraddistinta, al pari di adesso, col nome di Ramo del Pistor. Giuseppe Tassini, Curiosità Veneziane, Venezia 1887

18


2321 Pistor | 2343 Aldina Stamparia 19


Qui pero noteremo col Cicogna, sapersi di certo che Aldo Manuzio il vecchio teneva la propria stamperia a S. Agostino Giuseppe Tassini, Curiosità Veneziane, Venezia 1863

Ecco dunque provato che essa Stamperia non esisteva ove scorgesi l’epigrafe, ma bensì in Campo di S. Agostino Giuseppe Tassini, Curiosità Veneziane, Venezia 1887

THE HISTORIANS:

Senza dubbio

...e, in generale, per tutti gli altri indirizzi è indubitato che la casa stave in angolo tra il campo Sant’ Agostino e la via che è tuttora detta “Calle del Pistore;” a quivi appunto tuttavia sorge una casa, segnata col numero 2343, già 2038, che conserva, massime nella porta, il carattere architettonica del tempo, e che tuttavia ha dirimpetto una bottega di pistore o fornaio. E questa senza dubbio è la casa che Aldo abitò, la casa dov’ egli esercitò la tipografia insino ai primi anni del secolo XVI, e che fu per alcun tempo la sede dell’Accademia fondata da lui. Carlo Castellani, La stampa in Venezia dalla sua origine alla morte di Aldo Manuzio senior, Venezia 1889

20


…at this time he was probably living at St. Agostino, not in the house which at present bears the tablet recording his residence there, but in one of the small houses in the Calle del Pistor, which opens on to the Campo St. Agostino Horatio F. Brown, The Venetian Printing Press, London & New York 1891

…there is convincing evidence it is on the campo itself Sir John Julius Norwich, A History of Venice, London 1982

... la struttura in piedi all’angolo del Campo di San Agostin, la Calle del Pistor e la Calle della Chiesa, con numero civico 2343 Ester Pastorello, Di Aldo Pio Manuzio: Testimonianze e Documenti, Firenze 1965

The Thermae of Aldus the Roman? The house at c.n. 2343 H. George Fletcher III, New Aldine Studies, San Francisco 1988

It was located on the square at Sant’ Agostino, at the corner of the Calle del Pistor. If this was the structure at San Polo 2343, it still may be viewed H. George Fletcher III, In praise of Aldus Manutius, New York 1995

[

Others cite 2311 as the site of the Aldine Press, but no historian has ever defended it with any evidence other than the existence of the two plaques. 21

]


PERCHÉ 2311?

Abbot Vincenzo Zenier By the time Abbot Vincenzo Zenier placed his plaque in 1828, it was over 320 years since the Aldine Press had moved to San Paternian in 1506. The abbot was not an art historian, but he was immensely proud of his city and ardently commemorated numerous locations such as the sites of Antonio Canova, Carlo Goldini, Marco Polo, etc. 2311’s frontage is wide and its entry quite grand. On its high piano nobile, there are beautiful Gothic lancet arch windows and a balcony. Although the details at 2343 are characteristic of the 15th century, by comparison it has little ornament. In hindsight the abbot chose a more noble-looking structure, rather than the more likely commercial structure. 22


2311 now has shops at the ground level and apartments above

2343 now has the restaruant Due Colonne at the ground level and the Locanda Sant’Agostin above 23


ADESSO

Errata

If this building were home to the Aldine Press, its stemma would have most likely been present. Having taken the anchor and dolphin from an ancient coin, Aldus had given the emblem of his Aldine Press much consideration. When Aldus moved his press to San Paternian in 1506 upon his marriage to Torresani, one can imagine that Aldus himself desired its removal to avoid any confusion with his new location. In fact, we know that shortly after his death in 1515, his father-in-law sold books of the Aldine Press “At the Sign of the Anchor� as described in a letter from John Watson at Cambridge to Erasmus 1516 ca. August 13.

24


25


DOMANI

Ritorno?

The Aldine anchor is perhaps the most celebrated of all printers’ marks. It is singularly graceful in design, eminently characteristic of the distinguished scholar who first adopted it, and is affixed to a series of works, which contributed more than those of any single printer or family of printers to the progress of learning and literature in Europe. R. C. Christie, Selected Essays and Papers of Richard Copley Christie, London 1902

26


27


SPECIAL THANKS TO Jennifer Schuessler H. George Fletcher III Henry Martin The Emily Harvey Foundation The Cini Foundation The Fashion Institute of Technology / SUNY Ilenia Maschietto Tiziana Plebani Andrea Bizio Gradenigo “Giandri”

AND TO A MOST DELIGHTFUL COLLABORATOR Pierpaolo Pregnolato


IN SEARCH OF ALDUS PIUS MANUTIUS a campo Sant’Agostin www.insearchofaldus.org www.knoops.us

IN SEARCH OF ALDUS  

A project to memorialize the true site of the Aldine Press Johannes M. P. Knoops Assoc. Prof. FIT/SUNY

IN SEARCH OF ALDUS  

A project to memorialize the true site of the Aldine Press Johannes M. P. Knoops Assoc. Prof. FIT/SUNY

Advertisement