Commentary on:
Privilege Granted to Giovanni Ostaus (1556)

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Commentary on the Giovanni Ostaus 1556 Privilege Case

Dr Sarah Alexis Rabinowe

 

In Spring 1556, the Riformatori dello Studio di Padova judged three literary and artistic works submitted for a printing license by Ostaus to abide successfully by the standards of political, religious and moral acceptability required for circulation in Venice and the Veneto. According to the 1527 (1526 m.v.) legislation, henceforth all prints sold or publicly circulated in Venice (whether produced in Venice or elsewhere) were required to be submitted to a systematic, bureaucratic licensing procedure conducted by the Riformatori dello Studio di Padova under threat of confiscation and fine.[1] While, in practice, the universal enforceability of this edict is debatable, acquisition of a printing license was an enforced prerequisite for a privilegio. On 19 May 1556, upon ‘having received confirmation from the esteemed gentlemen Riformatori dello Studio di Padova’, the heads of the Council of Ten granted Ostaus the compulsory license needed to print in Venice two works: ‘the drawing of the Crucifixion by Joseph Salviati, with some vernacular and Latin inscriptions around [the image]’ and ‘the work [book] in Latin and the vernacular [Italian] of the Contemplation of the Life and Passion of our Lord Master Jesus Christ’.[2] The heads of the Council of Ten who authorized the license certification are named below the ruling as Catherino Zen[o] and Hieronimo Zane.[3] According to these members of the Council of Ten, the decision provided by the Riformatori dello Studio di Padova confirmed in particular that ‘there is nothing contrary to religion, to the principles, nor to good morals’ in the content submitted for consideration by Ostaus. The document itself was recorded by Secretary Riccio, who served the Council of Ten.[4]

 

On a day between 19 May 1556 and 27 June 1556, Giovanni Ostaus proceeded to petition the Senate of Venice for ten years of exclusive reproduction rights for three works including the two inventions listed in his aforementioned printing license: (1) the illustrated book entitled ‘Contemplatio totius vitae et passionis Domini Nostri Iesu Christi’ (translated as Contemplation of the entire Life and Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ)(2) a woodcut of the Crucifixion accompanied by ‘some declarations from the sacred scriptures’; and (3) a ‘booklet which contains the true perfection of drawings and embroidery [patterns]’.[5] Following the conventions of privilege petitions, Ostaus requests that the special permissions restrict the print and/or sale of any of his ‘undermentioned little works’ within Venice and its territories.[6] This constraint includes unauthorized copies printed outside the concurrent boundaries of the Dominion and Senate’s authority, and subsequently transported for sale within the Republic. The primary defense presented by Ostaus that the works were ‘produced at great effort and expense’ was similarly common in privileges from the first half of the sixteenth century. Ostaus reiterates his rationale and plea for requesting a privilege a few lines below in the petition: ‘and because [it] is not [a] seemly thing that others should wrongfully enjoy the labors of another, he [Giovanni Ostaus], again, pleads that the aforementioned privilege be granted to him’.[7] While Ostaus requests that the counterfeiter be penalized according to the ‘most sacred laws relating to this matter [privileged prints] from this so well-ordered Republic’, he does not specify a preferred fine for each confiscated print or plate, nor the beneficiaries of compensatory damages.

 

The official privilegio decree was granted to Ostaus ‘Die ultimo Junii’, or on the last day of June, by a majority of one-hundred and sixty-three in favor, one against and three abstentions.[8] The Senate of Venice approved all three printed works proposed by Ostaus for the requested privilege length of ten years.[9] The privilegio similarly granted the copying restrictions put forth in Ostaus’ petition letter that ‘none other than he, or his representatives, can print in this our City [Venice], nor in any place in our Republic… nor sell [copies] printed elsewhere’.[10] Since Ostaus did not recommend a privilege violation remuneration structure, the Councilors specified the penalty as ‘forfeit[ure of] all the works that may be discovered, and [a fine] of 300 ducats to be divided one-third to the accuser, one-third to the magistrate, who will perform the court proceedings, and one-third to the aforementioned supplicant’.[11] In all, Ostaus was granted every request advanced in his petition letter for a privilegio.

 

The Senate of Venice granted independent privilegito Francesco Marcolini followed by Giovanni Ostaus on the same document.[12] Marcolini requested and received a privilegiofor Italian humanist Daniele Barbaro’s renowned translation of Vitruvius’ De architectura (c. 1556) described in the privilegio decree as ‘the printed translation and commentary on Vitruvius composed by the Patriarch Elect of Aquileia’.[13] As Marcolini’s privilege is listed first, the privilege length, extent of protections and repercussions for counterfeiters intended for both his and Ostaus’ privilegiare included under Marcolini’s section. Generally, only in instances where the terms of copyright differ between recipients does this information recur. The beginning of Ostaus’ section, ‘And the same privilege be granted to Giovanni Ostaus for the works’, confirms that the aforementioned terms were intended for both publishers.[14] Whether because the edicts were strictly observed or largely ignored, the importance of abiding by the previous half-century of print legislation with regard to the implementation of the privilegiowas the only information unnecessarily replicated in both publishers’ sections on the official privilegio decree. The almost identically written and located passages read: ‘[Francesco Marcolini] being obliged to observe all regulations relating to prints’ and ‘he [Giovanni Ostaus] being likewise obliged to observe all regulations relating to prints’.[15] As though to cause the message to reverberate in the publishers’ minds, these passages are uniformly positioned as the concluding statement conveyed by the Senators to the newly endowed privilege holders. The sole qualitative distinction between the two statements is the word ‘medesimamente’, or ‘likewise’ in Ostaus’ section. The addition is intended to directly associate the recurrent text to the reader with its previous usage in the same document while also reinforcing the information’s importance by highlighting its repetitive application. 

 

In Ostaus’ petition letter, he refers to all three literary and artistic endeavors as ‘his little works mentioned below’.[16] However, the license certification and privilegio decree distinguish which works he personally composed. The Council of Ten’s license certification granted distribution permission to Ostaus for the content, yet clarifies the conceptual authorship of the Crucifixion and the Contemplatio totius vitae et passionis Domini Nostri Iesu Christi. Meanwhile, the Senate of Venice’s privilege decree reiterates the designer of the Crucifixion and reveals the author of the booklet on drawings and embroidery patterns. While Ostaus’ petition letter does not associate his woodcut of the Crucifixion with a particular artist, the printing license and privilege decree indicate the compositional origins of the design. Where Ostaus’ petition letter merely describes the image and paratext, ‘the other [print] is a Crucifixion with some declarations from the sacred scriptures’, the printing license provides information about the design’s provenance, ‘the drawing of the Crucifixion by Joseph Salviati, with some vernacular and Latin inscriptions around [the image]’.[17] The privilegio decree’s passage is identical to the printing license except for the description of the image’s paratext, which instead states, ‘with some inscriptions around [the image]’.[18] In both documents, the Crucifixion is identified to be the invention of ‘Joseph Salviati’, otherwise known as Giuseppe Porta, Giuseppe Salviati and Il Salviati. By comparison, Ostaus’ status with regard to the woodcut is clarified and confined to publisher and privilege holder. In contrast, Ostaus is credited for the textual composition of Contemplatio totius vitae et passionis Domini Nostri Iesu Christi in the license certification and the booklet on drawings and embroidery patterns in the privilege decree. The woodblock cutter who adapted Dürer’s imagery and designed nine additional woodcuts for Contemplatio totius vitae et passionis Domini Nostri Iesu Christi is not noted in either legal document. Perhaps, the artist’s anonymity results simultaneously from the Councilors’ and Senators’ prior unfamiliarity with the source of the supplementary imagery and Ostaus’ omission of an inventor’s name. 

 

The first work listed in Ostaus’ petition letter and in the Senate’s subsequent privilege decree, Contemplatio totius vitae et passionis Domini Nostri Iesu Christi, was published in Venice under the same title the following year in 1557. Written in Latin with some Italian, the publication is identifiable as the book put forward for consideration by Ostaus for several reasons: (1) the identical title; (2) the publication dated within one calendar year of the privilege’s conferral; and (3) Ostaus’ advertisement of the privileged status and length on the frontispiece with the inscription, ‘Cum Gratia & Privilegio, Illustrissimo Senatus Veneti, per annos x.’.[19] While Ostaus’ name solely adorns the dedication page to Cipriana Michiel, the abbess of the convent of San Lorenzo in Venice, the frontispiece mutually credits Pietro Valgrisi as co-publisher with the words, ‘Apud Ioannem Ostaum, & Petrum Valgrisium’.[20] The joint venture between the comparatively modest Ostaus and Valgrisi printing firms may have been an attempt to pool resources as a means to increase output and sales during the economic boom of the late 1550s and 1560s.[21] By the 1560s, Valgrisi travelled internationally to attend book fairs, such as the 1569 Autumn Fair in Frankfurt, with the intention of selling and purchasing works on behalf of other Venetian publishers and private clients.[22] As evidenced by the sole inclusion of Ostaus’ name on the privilege decree and signature on the dedication page, it is probable that Ostaus and Valgrisi’s business arrangement for Contemplatio totius vitae et passionis Domini Nostri Iesu Christi was similar, where Ostaus produced the publication while Valgrisi transported the product for sale throughout Europe.

 

Contemplatio totius vitae et passionis Domini Nostri Iesu Christi is a one-hundred and three page book that comprises forty-nine half-page woodcuts, which illustrate the Life and Passion of Christ.[23] Forty of the images are reproductions of woodcuts adapted from Albrecht Dürer’s (1471-1528) series’ The Life of the Virgin(c. 1500-1510) and The Small Passion (c. 1509-1511). Fourteen of the depictions are compositionally simplified and reduced-scale woodcuts from The Life of the Virgin. Meanwhile, twenty-six designs are taken from The Small Passion. Given the smaller scale of The Small Passion, the copied portrayals in Ostaus’ book more closely resemble the composition and size of Dürer’s originals. Neither of Dürer’s woodcut series is replicated in its entirety in Contemplatio totius vitae et passionis Domini Nostri Iesu Christi. Nine woodcuts featured in the book were substituted images preferred by Ostaus. Most notably, Dürer’s representation of the Crucifixion in The Small Passionis replaced with alternative imagery in Ostaus’ Contemplatio totius vitae et passionis Domini Nostri Iesu Christi. Each woodcut illustration is encircled by a Latin distich above and a Biblical passage followed by a prayer below.[24] In combination, the image and text integrate to shape an immersive experience for the meditative onlooker in response to the sight of Christ, to verse more often communally heard from the pulpit and finally to personal prayer. The reader visually and textually re-enacts the stages of Christ’s Life and Passion while reliving the stages of personal religious devotion. 

 

Distinct in style from the Crucifixion scene presented in Contemplatio totius vitae et passionis Domini Nostri Iesu Christi, the second work listed in the privilege application and decree is a woodcut that portrays the Crucifixion of Christ encompassed by sacred scriptures.[25]Published by Ostaus, the woodcut of the Crucifixion (c. 1556), was designed after Crucifixion with the Virgin, Mary Magdalene, and Saint John(c. 1550) painted by Giuseppe Salviati for the Church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo in Castello.[26] A student of Francesco Salviati, Giuseppe traveled from Florence to Venice with his master in 1539.[27] Adopting the name, Salviati, from his mentor, he remained in Venice to work as a self-described painter and mathematician when Francesco returned to Florence in 1541.[28] Before and after working with Ostaus on his subsequently copyrighted projects, Salviati received two privileges in his own right on 11 July 1552 and 18 March 1575 for Regola di far perfettamente col compasso la volvta et del capitello ionico et d'ogn'altra sorte printed by Francesco Marolini and a technical patient for a water irrigation system intended for agricultural initiatives.[29] Similar to Salviati’s diverse privileges, his designs for the Crucifixion scenes presented in Contemplatio totius vitae et passionis Domini Nostri Iesu Christi and Crucifixion follow two different compositional approaches for the same imagery.

 

The final work requested for copyright, a ‘booklet which contains the true perfection of drawings and embroidery [patterns]’, can be identified as the similarly titled first edition of La vera perfettione del disegno di varie sorti di recami, & di cucire ogni forte di punti a fogliami, punti tagliati, punti a fili, & rimessi punti incrociati, punti a stuora, & ogni altra arte, che dia opera a disegni. (c. 1557) published by Ostaus in Venice.[30] Several early editions of the woodblock printed volume feature a frontispiece that promotes Ostaus’ 1556 privilege and length of copyright, ‘Con gratia, & privilegio del Illustrissimo Senato Venetiano per anni x’.[31] The illustrated booklet comprises forty sheets occupied by seventy woodcuts on both recto and verso. Among the folios are a frontispiece dedication, forward, two sonnets and numerous needlework patterns. The majority of the booklet consists of back-to-back pages numbered ‘VII’ to ‘LXXI’ with each side of the sheets displaying an intricately carved embroidery design.

 

In particular, a dedication page to Lucretia Contarini appears in all editions of La vera perfettione del disegno[…].[32] Located on the verso of the publication’s second page, her name inspired the subject of the frontispiece vignette, Lucretia (c. 1557), which accompanies text set above the woodcut illustration that reads as follows:[33] 'Modo bellissimo di trattenere le sue figliuole in opera, come faceva la casta Lucretia Romana le sue Damigelle. Cosi come da Tarquinii insieme col suo marito Collatino, fu trovata in mezo d’esse à lavorare. Nel libro primo delle Deche di T. Livio.'[34] In addition to a textual introduction to the scene located immediately above the periphery of the image, the inscription, ‘IOSE. SAL. 1557’, or expanded ‘Joseph Salviati 1557’, carvedinto the lower left foreground of the composition indicates that Lucretia, as with Crucifixion, was designed after a painting by Salviati.[35] Drawn on the woodblock in preparation for the cutter by the artist’s own hand, it has been conjectured that Lucretia is likely adapted from a section of Salviati’s now lost fresco of the same subject once adorned the façade of the Palazzo Loredan in Venice.[36] Even in surviving examples where Lucretia has been cut away from the pattern book, the print paratext likewise confirms the woodcut’s initial publication date as 1557. 

 

As indicated by the explanative text, the woodcut illustration, Lucretia,is based on an early scene of Livy’s (59 BC-12/17 AD) historical fable from Roman antiquity often colloquially referred to as the rape of Lucretia, which would result in the downfall of the monarchy and emergence of the Roman Republic.[37] Following a debate that erupted between the generals who served under the Roman King, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus (535 BC-509 BC), regarding whose wife was the most pure and chaste, the decision was made to visit the wives unannounced. Solely Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus’ wife, Lucretia, was revealed to be virtuously occupied with her needlework. The scene recreates the moment in which the men come upon Lucretia amongst her daughters engaged in the needlecraft. Caught unaware, in a virtuous pose with her right hand over her heart, Lucretia’s head appears only half tilted towards the entryway. Her left hand still clasps a pattern book similar to, or perhaps even representative of, Ostaus’ La vera perfettione del disegno[…]. Meanwhile, another female figure, with her face positioned towards Lucretia and her arms extended to the entrance, swiftly motions to the unexpected visitors. In the doorway to the upper right corner of the composition, Lucretia’s husband is accompanied by Sextus Tarquinius, who in this moment develops a lascivious interest in Lucretia that would ultimately lead to the rape and suicide.

 

As the imagery imparted in Lucretia was manufactured to embody and encourage similar virtuous activities in its Early Modern viewer, Ostaus’ publication was primarily intended to provide illustrative models for leisured women employed in lace-making and needlework at home.[38] Profitable for publishers, pattern books such as Ostaus’ La vera perfettione del disegno[…] were often expanded and reprinted multiple times in the sixteenth-century.[39] Ostaus published at least three editions of La vera perfettione del disegno[…] throughout the duration of the ten-year privilege in 1557, 1561 and 1567.[40] While Ostaus received a privilegio in 1556, he did not circulate the booklet until 1557. Still within the one-year publication limit stipulated in the 1530s Venetian print legislation, Ostaus did not technically activate his privilege until 1557; thereby, extending his ten years of exclusive reproduction rights through 1567. The likely objective of Ostaus’ 1567 printing was to extract a final return on his financial investment prior to the impending expiration of his exclusive reproduction rights.

 

While only fragments of the first edition appear to have survived, several folios containing the dedication, two sonnets and four embroidery patterns currently reside in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The same collection also holds a nearly complete 1567 printing of La vera perfettione del disegno[…] with only folios fourteen and thirty-one missing. A complete facsimile of this edition, with some exclusions and format alterations, was produced in 1878 under almost the same title as volume seven of the Raccolta di opere antiche su i disegni dei merletti di Venezia.[41] There is also a 1909 republication of the 1561 edition replicated from an original volume then located in the Biblioteca Corsiniana in Rome under the title, La vera perfezione del disegno di Giovanni Ostaus, as part of Serie I: Merletti e ricamifrom Libri antichi di modelli riprodotti a fac-simile, directed by Elisa Ricci.[42] When comparing the content that remains of the 1557 first edition with the still complete 1561 and 1567 printings, there appears to be little alteration between the three editions. While the available comparison is inherently limited, the later versions seem more like reprints than remodels.

 

While Valgrisi began to peddle Ostaus’ works at Northern book fairs by the late 1560s, a woodcut reproduction of the Crucifixion was published outside the Republic’s jurisdiction in Frankfurt am Main early in 1560 as part of a letterpress text broadsheet by Sigmund Feyerabend (1528-1590), otherwise referred to as Sigismund Feierbend.[43] A contemporary of Ostaus, Feyerabend partially trained in Venice before returning to his homeland. Both immigrants from nearby regions of Northern Europe, there is a significant possibility of a direct connection between Ostaus and Feyeraband as foreign individuals working in the Venetian printing industry. Germans in Venice, as with the privilege system, were increasingly restricted in life and career during the sixteenth century.[44]

 

By the time of Ostaus and Feyerabend’s arrival in Venice, the final two reactionary print legislations ratified by the Venetian government during the first half of the sixteenth century in 1547 and 1549 (1548 m.v.) were in full effect. While the former law was designed to establish more severe penalties for license and privilege violations, the latter edict provides a buffer for the Venetian authorities from the Holy See with the establishment of the self-regulating Guild of Printers and Booksellers. With the 1547 law began the public destruction of works deemed malign and imprisonment of their authors. Meanwhile, the 1549 (1548 m.v.) statute added a layer of distance for the Republic from the actions of its populace, and thereby the consequences otherwise administered by the Vatican. In a setting of contradictions, Ostaus, an immigrant to Venice from a region with strong connections to the Reformation, chose to obtain privileges for publications that were primarily religious or moral in focus. His works illustrate the Life and Passion of Christ and instruct on the virtuous domestic activities of women, comply with the active censorial policing of printed imagery in Venice and furthermore profit from trends towards the demand for artwork that displayed a strong Catholic response to the Reformation’s directive to destroy religious imagery and extol traditional idioms of virtue. 

 



[1]While not founded for this purpose, the Riformatori dello Studio di Padova became part of the Venetian Republic’s strategy to comply outwardly with the Papal Inquisition without yielding Venice’s autonomy to the Holy See. The independent reformers were provided with unilateral authority to assess and censor all printed material planned for circulation within Venice and its territories. In consequence, the Papacy could not directly condemn the Venetian Government for any publications produced in Venice and the Veneto that were subsequently deemed unfit by a Roman Inquisition. Distanced intentionally from the center of power in Venice, the reformers were installed at the University of Padua. In the same instance, their relative position in a nearby territory under Venetian jurisdiction enabled the Government to ensure timely rulings and to retain circuitous influence otherwise relinquished to the Papacy.

[2]ASVe, Senato Deliberazioni Terra, filza 23; C. L. C. E. Witcombe, Copyright in the Renaissance: Prints and the Privilegio in Sixteenth-Century Venice and Rome (Leiden, 2004), p. 126. Two nearly identical copies of the printing license are preserved in case records at the Archivio di Stato di Venezia.

[3]In the license, the heads of the Council of Ten are referred to by the Latin version of their names, ‘D. Catherinus Geno [Zeno]’ and ‘D. Hieronimus Zane’. The Council of Ten most often tasked two or three council leaders with the responsibility of confirming print licenses.

[4]In the document, the secretary to the Council of Ten is cited with the Latin spelling of his name, ‘Ricius’.

[5]ASVe, Senato Deliberazioni Terra, filza 23. It appears that the booklet on drawings and embroidery patterns was approved in a separate printing license, which is no longer preserved with the remainder of the case file. In addition, while a date is not listed on the petition letter, as the document notes that the contents have already been ‘licensed for printing’, Ostaus’ application must have been submitted between bestowal of the printing license by the Council of Ten on 19 May 1556, and conferral of the privilege by the Senate of Venice on 27 June 1556.

[6]ASVe, Senato Deliberazioni Terra, filza 23.

[7]ASVe, Senato Deliberazioni Terra, filza 23.

[8]ASVe, Senato Deliberazioni Terra, reg. 40, fol. 120r.-v. (140r.-v. n.n.); D. Rosand and M. Muraro, Titian and the Venetian Woodcut (Washington D.C., 1976), pp. 274-276, nos. 85-86; Witcombe (2004), pp. 126, 291 and 303. A secondary copy of the privilegio bestowed on Ostaus, with minor amendments, was included with the retained government case file of the proceedings, ASVe, Senato Deliberazioni Terra, filza 23. The duplicate also contains the dates 6 July 1556 and 7 July 1556 with the word ‘die’, or ‘on the day’, which does not appear to correspond to any known legal material regarding this case. In addition, no further documents containing these dates were located when the present author examined the relevant volumes at the Archivio di Stato di Venezia.

[9]ASVe, Senato Deliberazioni Terra, reg. 40, fol. 120r.-v. (140r.-v. n.n.); Rosand and Muraro (1976), p. 274; Witcombe (2004), pp. 126, 291-292 and 303.

[10]ASVe, Senato Deliberazioni Terra, reg. 40, fol. 120r.-v. (140r.-v. n.n.).

[11]ASVe, Senato Deliberazioni Terra, reg. 40, fol. 120r.-v. (140r.-v. n.n.).

[12]ASVe, Senato Deliberazioni Terra, reg. 40, fol. 120r.-v. (140r.-v. n.n.). Privileges bestowed on the same date were often conflated into a singular decree.

[13]ASVe, Senato Deliberazioni Terra, reg. 40, fol. 120r.-v. (140r.-v. n.n.); ASVe, Senato Deliberazioni Terra, filza 23; Witcombe (2004), pp. 252 and 303. The printed translation and commentary on Vitruvius can be immediately identified as Barbaro’s version on two grounds: (1) in accordance with 1530s Venetian print legislation, the privilege and publication occurred within the same year and (2) Barbaro’s election as the Patriarch Elect of Aquileia several years earlier in 1550. Barbaro’s publication is catalogued in S. Casali, Annali della tipografia veneziana di Francesco Marcolini da Forli (Forli, 1861), pp. 265-269, no. 109; R. Mortimer, Harvard College Library Department of Printing and Graphic Arts. Catalogue of Books and Manuscripts, Part II, Italian 16thCentury Books, 2 Vols. (Cambridge, 1974), no. 547. For additional information regarding Barbaro’s text in translation refer to M. Losito, ‘Il IX libro del De architectura di Vitruvio nei Commentari di Daniele Barbaro (1556-1567)’, Nuncius, Vol. 4, No. 1 (1989), pp. 3-42; B. Mitrovic, ‘Paduan Aristotelianism and Daniele Barbaro's Commentary on Vitruvius' De Architectura’, Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol. 29, No. 3 (1998), pp. 667-688; M. M. D’Evelyn, Venice & Vitruvius: Reading Venice with Daniele Barbaro and Andrea Palladio (New Haven, 2012). For a brief biography of Daniele Barbaro’s achievements and public appointments see M. Pixley, ‘Barbaro, Daniele’, in Renaissance and Reformation, 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary, ed. J. E. Carney (Westport, 2000), pp. 31-32. A subsequent Italian edition of this material was published by Francesco de' Franceschi in Venice less than two years after the expiration of Marcolini’s privilege in 1567, L. Cellauro, ‘Palladio e le illustrazioni delle edizioni del 1556 e del 1567 di Vitruvio’, Saggi e Memorie di storia dell'arte, No. 22 (1998), pp. 55, 57-128.

[14]ASVe, Senato Deliberazioni Terra, reg. 40, fol. 120r.-v. (140r.-v. n.n.).

[15]ASVe, Senato Deliberazioni Terra, reg. 40, fol. 120r.-v. (140r.-v. n.n.).

[16]ASVe, Senato Deliberazioni Terra, filza 23.

[17]ASVe, Senato Deliberazioni Terra, reg. 40, fol. 120r.-v. (140r.-v. n.n.); ASVe, Senato Deliberazioni Terra, filza 23.

[18]ASVe, Senato Deliberazioni Terra, reg. 40, fol. 120r.-v. (140r.-v. n.n.); ASVe, Senato Deliberazioni Terra, filza 23.

[19]The abbreviations in this inscription have been expanded.

[20]The Latin name Petrus Valgrisius refers to Pietro Valgrisi, a publisher and book-dealer from a prominent family in the Venetian printing trade.

[21]For a brief summation regarding the effects of the economic boom on Venetian prints published such as Giolito, Valgrisi and Tramezzino see J. A. Bernstein, Music Printing in Renaissance Venice: The Scotto Press (1539-1572) (Oxford, 1998).

[22]Bernstein (1998), p. 127.

[23]G. Ostaus and P. Valgrisi, Contemplatio totius vitae et passionis Domini Nostri Iesu Christi (Venice, 1557); Witcombe (2004), p. 126.

[24]Ostaus and Valgrisi (1557); Witcombe (2004), p. 126.

[25]Rosand and Muraro (1976), p. 274, no. 85.

[26]The woodcut, Crucifixionis discussed and catalogued in C. Ridolfi, Le meraviglie dell’arte, ovvero, Le vite degli illustri pittori veneti e dello stato2. Vols., ed. D. von Hadeln (Venice, 1648; edited and reprinted: Berlin, 1914 and 1924), Vol. 1, p. 274; J. D. Passavant, Le Peintre-graveur, 6 Vols. (Leipzig, 1860-1864), Vol. 6, p. 230, no. 37a; Rosand and Muraro (1976), pp. 274-275, no. 85.

[27]Witcombe (2004), p. 214.

[28]Witcombe (2004), p. 214. In addition to his efforts as a painter and mathematician, Salviati was also employed in Venice as a woodcut designer and engraver.

[29]The privilegio for Salviati’s architectural treatise on the ionic capital, Regola di far perfettamente col compasso la volvta et del capitello ionico et d'ogn'altra sorte, is located at ASVe, Senato Deliberazioni Terra, reg. 38, fol. 125v. (146v. n.n.). The resulting publication is catalogued in Casali (1861), no. 90; Mortimer (1974), no. 456. Meanwhile, his technical patent privilege can be found at ASVe, Senato Deliberazioni Terra, reg. 50, fol. 127r.-v. (149r.-v. n.n.). The document is discussed at length in B. Boucher, ‘Giuseppe Salviati, pittore e matematico’, Arte Veneta, Vol. 30 (1976), pp. 219-224. In addition, the 1552 and 1575 privileges granted to Salviati are both briefly examined in Witcombe (2004), pp. 214-215.

[30]ASVe, Senato Deliberazioni Terra, filza 23; The publication, La vera perfettione del disegno[…], is catalogued in A. von Lotz, Bibliographie der Modelbücher (Leipzig, 1933), p. 172, no. 96a; Rosand and Muraro (1976), p. 276, no. 86; Witcombe (2004), pp. 291-292 and 303. Passavant (1860-1864), Vol. 6, p. 238, no. 75.

[31]The abbreviations in this inscription have been expanded.

[32]Ridolfi (1648; edited and reprinted: 1914 and 1924), Vol. 1, p. 245; Rosand and Muraro (1976), p. 276, no. 86; Witcombe (2004), p. 292.

[33]Lucretia is otherwise referred to as Lucretia Instructing her Daughters in NeedleworkRidolfi (1648; edited and reprinted: 1914 and 1924), Vol. 1, p. 245; Rosand and Muraro (1976), p. 276, no. 86; Witcombe (2004), p. 292.

[34]In addition to direct object study, the transcription of this text provided by Rosand and Muraro has been consulted, Rosand and Muraro (1976), p. 276, no. 86.

[35]Rosand and Muraro (1976), p. 276, no. 86.

[36]Ridolfi (1648; edited and reprinted: 1914 and 1924), Vol. 1, p. 245; Rosand and Muraro (1976), p. 276, no. 86. While difficult to substantiate, Passavant suggests that Francesco Marcolini was the woodcutter responsible for Salviati’s designs from Ostaus’ 1556 privilege, Passavant (1860-1864), Vol. 6, p. 265; Rosand and Muraro (1976), p. 276, no. 86.

[37]A full account of the legend is recorded in T. Livius (Livy), History of Rome, (Rome, 28 BC) Book 1, sec. 57-60. For a translation of Livy’s History of Rome see T. Livius (Livy), History of Rome, Books 1-5, trans. V. M. Warrior (Indianapolis, 2006).

[38]A. R. Jones, ‘Labor and Lace: The Crafts of Giacomo Franco’s Habiti delle donne venetiane’, I Tatti Studies in the Italian Renaissance, Vol. 17, No. 2 (2014), p. 404. For further information on the lace manufacture and apparel adornment practices of Early Modern Venetian women see Jones (2014), pp. 399-425. More specifically, the ‘social significance’ of the example set by Lucretia is briefly examined in Rosand and Muraro (1976), p. 276, no. 86.

[39]A detailed 1933 survey of needlework pattern books published in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries identifies four hundred editions of, at minimum, two-hundred and fifty-six volumes, Lotz (1933), p. 7.

[40]Additional editions of La vera perfettione del disegno[…] were produced following the expiration of Ostaus’ privilegio in 1584 and 1591, Lotz (1933), p. 172, no. 96a; Rosand and Muraro (1976), p. 276, no. 86; Witcombe (2004), p. 292, fn. 25.

[41]G. Ostaus, La vera perfettione del disegno di varie sorti di recami et di cucire punti a fogliami punti tagliati punti a fili et rimessi punti in cruciati, punti a stuora, et ogni altra arte che dia opera a disegni. (Venice, 1567; reprinted: Venice, 1878). There are several notable discrepancies between the original and replica of the 1567 edition. Replacing the original frontispiece where the publication year is displayed, the explanatory front page of the reproduction claims the booklet to be a ‘Fac-simile Eliotipico della stampa originale del 1557,’ or ‘Facsimile reproduction of the original printing of 1557,’ Ostaus (1878), p. 2v. However, the title page on the reverse side clearly indicates the replica is a duplication of the 1567 printing with the inscription, ‘IN VENETIA APPRESSO GIO OSTAVS 1567’, or ‘in Venice at [the shop of] Giovanni Ostaus 1567’, Ostaus (1567; reprinted: 1878), p. 2r. In addition, when compared with the 1567 edition in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the verso of the original publication’s final folio is used as the first page of the facsimile, as if in place of the absent frontispiece. Moreover, none of the replica’s pages, except for sheet two, are printed back-to-back, and the Roman numerals have been replaced with Arabic numerals.

[42]G. Ostaus, La vera perfezione del disegno di Giovanni Ostaus, dir. Elisa Ricci (Venice, 1561; reprinted: Bergamo, 1909).

[43]Feyerabend’s replication of Ostaus’ Crucifixion is discussed in Ridolfi (1648; edited and reprinted: 1914 and 1924), Vol. 1, p. 245, note 3; Rosand and Muraro (1974), p. 274. 

[44]Suspicions towards the religious identity of Germans living in Venice resulted in postulations by Alberto Bolognetti (1538-1585), papal nuncio in Venice from 1578-1580, in his report of 1580 that only 200 of the 900 German residents were true Catholics, A. Stella, Chiesa e Stato nelle relazioni dei nunzi pontifici a Venezia. Ricerche sul giurisdizionalismo veneziano dal XVI al XVIII secolo (Vatican, 1964), pp. 278-280. A translation of this material is provided in D. Chambers and B. Pullan (eds.), Venice: A Documentary History, 1450-1630 (Toronto, 2012), pp. 330-331.


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