Del Teatro Olimpico di Andrea Palladio in Vicenza. Discorso del Signor Conte Giovanni Montenari Vicentino. Padova, Conzatti, 1733.
First edition. 8vo (217 x 140 mm), engraved portrait frontispiece and pp. [ii], 84, , five further engraved plates, all folding, with plans and rooms, all edges uncut, very light browning to a few areas of text block on first couple of gatherings, the odd marginal spot, bound in contemporary carta rustica, spine covered with marbled paper, fairly heavily chipped, remnant of early ink titles to spine, old shelfmark label to upper cover, with the nineteenth century bookplate of the Biblioteca Giuliari on the front pastedown.
A fresh and unsophisticated copy of this handsomely illustrated architectural pamphlet, part tourist guide and part a history of ancient drama. Written by Count Giovanni Montenari, author of numerous works on the history of architecture, it is entirely devoted to the famous Teatro Olimpico built by Andrea Palladio in Vicenza in 1580-1585. Whilst lingering on the structural qualities of the Teatro in relation to its ancient models, Montenari also explores the practical use of the building during dramatic performances of ancient plays, such as its parts, the use of the ‘scena’, the ‘odeo’, the ‘orchestra’, the space where the choir should be, and so on. So that, in the end, this fictional, peripatetic tour of the Teatro Olimpico also becomes the vehicle for a detailed discussion of ancient theatre.
OCLC lists plenty of copies throughout Continental Europe, but only V & A, Rylands and Liverpool in the UK and only the Canadian Center for Architecture and Chicago Art Institute in North America.