So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Fifteenth century books and the twentieth century: an address ... and a catalogue of an exhibition of fifteenth century books held at the Grolier Club, April 15 - June 1, 1952

Fifteenth century books and the twentieth century: an address ... and a catalogue of an exhibition of fifteenth century books held at the Grolier Club, April 15 - June 1, 1952 by Curt F. Buhler
Curt Ferdinand Bühler (11 July 1905–2 August 1985) was the rare book curator at the Pierpont Morgan Library and an expert on the art and history of books printed during the fifteenth century. In this book he gives a talk on the first half century of printed books which is followed by a catalog of 77 15th century books from the 1952 exhibition at the Grolier Club, and four full page pictures from these books. It is an amazingly good introduction to incunabula, the printed books of the 15th century.

One of the four illustrations is an illustration from an Italian 15th century book Vita et Aesopus Moralisatus edited by Francesco del Tuppo and published in Naples, February 13, 1485 that appears on page 55 of the book.

I found a link to the illustration at the Metropolitan Museum of Art:

http://images.metmuseum.org/CRDImages/dp/original/DP108935.jpg

which explains the story behind the picture as follows:

"The fable of the ant and the fly is not unlike that of the country mouse and the city mouse. The fly boasted that he partook of the finest wines and the choicest delicacies and drank and ate from vessels of precious metal. But the wise ant, who ate simply and lived by his honest labor, pointed out that the fly was always unwanted and scorned and could never take a bite without being in fear for his life."

Here is a version of the story online: http://www.aesops-fables.com/the-ant-and-the-fly

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