MONTAIGNE. - CORIO (Bernardino). The History... - Lot 26 - Giquello

Lot 26
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MONTAIGNE. - CORIO (Bernardino). The History... - Lot 26 - Giquello
MONTAIGNE. - CORIO (Bernardino). The History of Milan. [...] Con le vite insieme di tutti gli Imperiatori. Venice, Giorgio de' Cavalli, 1565. Large volume in-4, havana chagrin, cold-stamped listel and gilt fillet in frame, ornamented spine, small coat of arms repeated in the boxes, red edges (Binding circa 1860). A very precious copy of Montaigne, with his autograph signature at the bottom of the title: it has remained unknown to specialists until now. The volume is not included in the list drawn up by Alain Legros, who has been able to identify 105 books "surviving" from Montaigne's bookshop - a figure to which we can add a Plutarch of 1565 recently sold (Alain Legros, Liste des livres de Montaigne et de La Boétie conservés ou attestés, online, updated on 6 April 2020). Montaigne's library, which the author considered to be one of the most beautiful among village bookshops, included about a thousand volumes, mainly books on history (Montaigne's great passion) and belles-lettres. It was dispersed around 1630 and is now known only by these 107 books - about one tenth of the library - which now appear as precious relics, witnesses of the habits and intellectual activity of the author of the Essays: "At home, I go to my bookshop a little more often [...]. There, I leaf through one book at this time, and another at this time, without order or purpose, with pieces unsewn: sometimes I dream, sometimes I record and dictate, while walking, my dreams that I have. [...] It is on the third floor of a tower [...]. I studied, when I was young, for ostentation, since then, a little, to become more mature; at this time, to be absorbed [...]" (Essays, III, 3). The list drawn up by Alain Legros mentions 18 books in Italian, including a work on the Tiber (Bacci, Del Tevere, no. 8), the Commentari of Julius Caesar (no. 24), love dialogues by Leo the Hebrew (no. 55), the Antichita della cita di Roma by Mauro (no. 62), a Petrarch (no. 75) or even a Strabo (no. 89) We do not know in what circumstances Montaigne acquired this History of Milan (original edition in 1503), which the historian Bernardino Corio (1459-1519) had been commissioned to write at the request of the Duke of Sforza. In any case, the subject could have been of interest to Montaigne, who was very fond of the stories his father, Pierre Eyquem, told him about the Italian wars - the latter took part in the seventh war and returned to his lands in 1529 (cf. Concetta Cavallini, L'Italianisme de Michel de Montaigne, 2003, p. The capital of Lombardy does not seem to have made much of an impression on the humanist during his trip to Italy in 1580-1581. It is known that he made a brief stopover there, barely two days; after leaving Pavia on 26 October 1581, and making a detour to see "the plain where it is said that the army of King Francis I was defeated by Charles V" (at the battle of Pavia in 1525), Montaigne arrived in Milan: "It is the most populous city in Italy, it is large, filled with all sorts of craftsmen and merchants. It is quite similar to Paris. It does not have the beautiful palaces of Rome, Naples, Genoa and Florence, but it is more grand. On the 27th, he decided to visit the outside of the castle, stopped there "all day because of an abundant rain", then left the next morning. The copy belonged to Count Eugène de Porry (1829-1884), a literary scholar from Marseille and correspondent of several learned societies, including the Académie du Var, with his small coat of arms stamped on the spine and his name in gilded letters on the back. It is interesting to note that the family of this writer is a distant branch of the ancient Milanese house of Porri, established in France under Louis XIII and whose name is evoked by Bernardino Corio in his book. Light wetness in the corner of the last 5 quires.
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