"A WORK AS LICENTIOUS AS IT IS ORIGINAL AND ELABORATE": OVID'S ART OF LOVE, 1494 VENETIAN INCUNABLE PRINTING, BOUND TOGETHER WITH HIS HEROÏDES, 1497 VENETIAN INCUNABLE PRINTING—TWO VERY SCARCE AND DESIRABLE INCUNABLE EDITIONS OF OVID ON LOVE
(OVID) OVIDIUS NASO, Publius. De Arte Amandi et de Remedio Amoris [The Art and Remedy of Love]. BOUND WITH: Epistolae Heroides [Letters of Heroines]. Venice: Johannes Tacuinus, de Tridino, July 5, 1494; Jan. 24, 1497. Two volumes bound in one. Folio (8-1/2 by 11-1/2 inches), 18th-century limp vellum; 56 numbered leaves; 96 numbered leaves. $23,500.
Two very scarce and desirable incunable printings of Ovid on the art of love—The Art and Remedy of Love, along with The Heroides—finely printed in Venice by Johannes Tacuinus in 1494 and 1497, the second work with an attractive woodcut-illustrated title page, bound together in one volume.
The Art of Love, along with its continuation, Cures for Love, was composed and made public around 2 BC, and offered advice to both men and women on the methods of "contracting a love affair and insuring its continuance—a work as licentious as it is original and elaborate" (Peck, 1151). "These poems had a momentous influence on later European civilization. It was not only Chaucer who read Ovid's love poetry; every educated person with the slightest interest in the subject did so" (Paul Brians). The Epistolae Heroides [Letters of Heroines] is a collection of 15 epistolary poems composed by Ovid in Latin elegiac couplets and presented as though written by a selection of aggrieved heroines of Greek and Roman mythology addressing their heroic loves who have in some way mistreated, neglected, or abandoned them, such as Penelope to Ulysses, Helen to Paris, Dido to Aeneas, and Hero to Leander. De Arte Amandi is printed with the extensive commentary of Bartholomaeus Merula, which first appeared in Johannes Tacuinas' edition of May, 1494 (this printing dated July 1494). Epistolae Heroides is accompanied by the commentaries of Antonius Volscus and Hubertinus Clericus, a popular text and commentaries that were printed several times before by other printers. This edition of the Epistolae includes Sappho et Ibis, with commentary by Domitius Calderinus. Text in Latin. With a number of multi-line initials in both titles. Hain 12220; 12200. Goff O165; O-143. Occasional early marginalia.
First leaf of first work and last three leaves of second work with skillful restoration to edges, last leaf with some loss of text. Some marginal dampstaining and worm traces in latter half of second work. A lovely copy of these two scarce and desirable Ovid incunable editions.