Alighieri, Dante (1265-1321). .
La Divina Commedia di Dante Alighieri Con varie Annotazioni, e copiosi Rami adornata... Tomo Primo [- Terzo] . Venice, Antonio Zatta, 1757. Venezia,
[Together with:] Idem. Prose, erime liriche edite, ed inedite di Dante Alighieri, con copiose ed erudite aggiunte... Tomo Quarto Parte Prima [- Seconda]. Venice, Antonio Zatta, 1758.
Five volumes in large 4° (330x240 mm). I. , XLVIII, CCCCIV pages. II. CCCCXIII,  pages. III. CCCCLII, , 103,  pages. IV. xii, 408 pages. V. , LXXXIV, , 264 pages (in this copy the second part containing the Monarchia and the errata leaf is bound before the first one). On the half-title of vol. 1 ‘Opere di Dante Alighieri'. Title-pages of the first three volumes printed in red and black, with an engraved vignette in blue. Title-pages of vols. 4 and 5 with an engraved vignette in black.The set is complete with all the engraved plates. Vol. 1: fourty-one plates, including thirty-four numbered plates introducing each canto, the frontispiece engraved by G. Giampicoli after F. Fontebasso, the portrait of Empress Elisabeth of Russia drawn and engraved by G. Magnini, the engraved dedicatory letter to the Empress, and four unsigned plates showing, respectively, a portrait of Dante, some medals then owned by Count Gianmaria Mazzucchelli in Brescia, the tomb of the Florentine poet, and, at the end, the map of Hell after Antonio Manetti. Vol. 2: thirty-three numbered plates. Vol. 3: thirty-three numbered plates. Vol. 4: six plates, including engraved frontispiece, three plates (of which one is misbound between fols. Bbb1 and Bbb2), and two plates and one folding table with Dante's genealogy originally referring to vol. 5, and erroneously bound here. Vol. 5: one plate (the other two plates and the folding table have been erroneously inserted in vol. 4). Engraved initials, numerous head- and tailpieces. Each canto of the Commedia is introduced by an engraved Argomento, set within a rocaille frame. Uniformly bound in contemporary Italian vellum over pasteboards, with yapp edges. Smooth spines, title and volume numbering on double painted lettering-pieces. Green fabric bookmarks. Edges speckled in red. Covers slighty stained, some losses to board edges and corners, especially in vols. 1 and 2. Front joint of vol. 1 slightly cracked, spine worn. In vol. 5, minor wear at the upper extremities of spine. A very good copy, printed on large thick paper. Some foxing and browning in places. Pastedowns and flyleaves somewhat foxed. A few paper flaws.
Provenance: the lawyer from Lucera Andrea Tontoli (b. 1714; his ex libris engraved in green in each volume, on the verso of the title-pages).
A remarkable copy of the first edition of Dante's collected works. A monumental achievement, supplemented with numerous plates, and containing the first illustrated Commedia to be published since 1596. Batines mentions that a few special copies – “in carta grande” and “in carta stragrande” – were issued. The edition is dedicated by the editor, Cristoforo Zapata de Cisneros, to Empress Elizaveta Petrovna of Russia, daughter of Czar Peter the Great. This publication is responsible for Dante's reputation in Russia: its first translation into Russian appeared at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The first three volumes contain the Commedia, the text of which is based on that printed in Padua in 1727 (the well-known Cominiana edition), accompanied by the commentaries of some of the best Dante scholars of the time, including Pompeo Venturi and Giovanni Antonio Volpi. The Tomo Quarto – divided here into two volumes and issued by Zatta in 1758 – presents the Vita Nova, Convito, Volgare Eloquenza, Sette Salmi Penitenziali and De Monarchia, likewise supplemented with lengthy annotations and commentaries. The numerous engraved plates illustrating this monumental edition, especially the Commedia, were designed by numerous ‘valentissimi' artists, among them the Venetian Francesco Fontebasso (1707-1769), Gaetano Gherardo Zompini from Nervesa, near Treviso (1700-1778) and Michelangelo Schiavone from Chioggia (1712-1772). The drawings were skilfully engraved by, among others, Giovanni Magnini, Bartolomeo Crivellari, and Giuliano Giampicoli.
Batines I, pp. 112-114; Mambelli 65; Gamba 396; Cicognara 225.