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Aristotle

Girolamo da Cremona1483

The Morgan Library & Museum

The Morgan Library & Museum

This luxurious two-volume edition of the works of Aristotle
was called by Henry Yates Thompson “the most magnificent book in the world.”
The trompe-l’oeil tendencies already evident in Girolamo da Cremona’s Augustine
of 1475 have been developed even further in the two frontispieces of this copy.
In the first volume, the vellum of the page appears to have been torn away to
reveal Aristotle conversing with a turbaned figure, possibly the Cordovan
commentator Averroës (1126–1190). Beneath is a richly decorated architectural
façade set into a landscape populated with satyrs, putti, and deer. A Latin
inscription on the façade states that one Petrus Ulmer “brought this Aristotle
to the world.” Some scholars have identified this figure with Peter Ugelheimer,
a Frankfurt bookseller resident in Venice
who sold to Torresanus the punches of the celebrated printer Nicolas Jenson.

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