Item #417 L'Inganno, dialogo di M. Gioseppe Horologgi. Giuseppe Orologi.
L'Inganno, dialogo di M. Gioseppe Horologgi.
On Deception and Seduction in Art & Collecting ca. 1562

L'Inganno, dialogo di M. Gioseppe Horologgi.

Venice: Gabriele Giolito de'Ferrari, 1562. Item #417

8vo. 156 x 98 mm., (6 ¼ x 4 inches). [16], 207, [3] pp., including final blank. Illustrated with a woodcut printer’s device to the title-page and a full-page device to the final leaf. Bound in contemporary paste-paper boards; some soiling to the covers and slight wear to the spine; paper shelf label at head of spine covering a manuscript number and a couple of dates on front endpapers.

First edition and only edition, scarce in the trade. Important book criticizing the art world in mid-16th century Italy, where personal collections of paintings, drawings, sculpture and jewelry were being formed by a growing number of wealthy patrons. Orologi, a relatively unknown critic satirizes both collectors and artists who were participating in “deceitful” (inganno) practices to bolster their ownership of pieces of art.

In an essay by Sally Hickson, which appears in "I castelli di yale", she writes, “This essay deals with only one aspect of Orologi’s interest in art deception, and that is with the deception of art itself. In its very nature as a practice of imitation, art was long perceived to be an exercise in deceiving the senses. However, the growing status of art objects as both intellectual and economic commodities in Orologi’s time created a mania for conspicuous consumption that led to collectors to deceive each other in their frenzy to acquire objects, to falsely assume an expertise in evaluating the worth of such objects, and to confuse ownership and acquisition with self-worth, self-image and self-knowledge. The result was a continuous chain of deception and self-deception, which Orologi examines in his treatment of deception in Art.”

Hickson also quotes Orologi on this subject at length. Here is one example; "There are some in Rome called antiquarians by everyone, who assume the task of recognizing everything and they say the most lying and scurrilous things in the world . . . This type of man is accustomed to playing strange jokes on the moderns using the appearance of ancient figures, and they say things and then they go back and say them again in a manner better to their purpose, finding others’ ears well-disposed to believe everything they fell like saying. And I lien them to dreams that feature things both present and past, but never wholly as they are, or as they were.”

With faults a very good copy of a difficult book to find in the market. Orologi also published a book entitled L’Ingratitudine, also published by Giolito in 1561 which was reprinted in 1562.

Italian STC under Dondi dall’Orologi, p. 225. Sally Hickson, “The inganno of Giuseppe Orologi. On deception and seduction in art and collecting.” I castelli di yale – online, 2013. Year 1, no. 1, pp. 107-119. OCLC cites 12 copies and the ICCU cites numerous copies.

Price: $2,250.00

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