London: Printed by John Gain for the Author, 1685. Quarto, three-quarter period-style calf gilt, raised bands, crimson spine label, marbled boards. Early owner signature of John Reynolds; first-issue title page printed in red and black, with 1685 date. Occasional foxing and soiling, a few early paper repairs, a few signatures embrowned. Wing A764. Item #10093
Three critical dialogues by Aglionby are accompanied here by the first appearance in English of eleven of Vasari's Lives: Cimabue, Giotto, Leonardo, Andrea del Sarto, Raphael, Giorgione, Michelangelo, Giulio Romano, Perino del Vaga, Titian, and Donato. Of Leonardo's Mona Lisa, Vasari writes: "this Piece was finished at a Rate, to make any Artist afraid of ever attempting any thing like it. 'Tis said besides, That he never made this lovely Lady sit for her Picture, but he had always some Body to Sing, or play upon some Instrument, with some Buffoons to make Sport, and keep her in good Humour, that the Picture might have nothing of that Pensiveness, which very often spoils the Painters whole Design; and accordingly this had an Air of Joy and Pleasantness, that rejoyced every one that saw it." A classic of Renaissance art history, and an inspiration for the Grand Tour so popular among the English in the century to follow. A lovely copy.