Treasures in the Royal Library

Back | Main

Francisco Colonna: Hypnerotomachia Polyphili. Venice: Aldus Manutius, December 1499.
Inc. Haun. 1238 2º

Click for enlarged image Click for enlarged image Click for enlarged image
Fol. p6v Fol. y3r Fol. x5v

This is one of the most famous incunabula (books printed before 1501), known for the harmonious proportions between the Italian text and the woodcut illustrations. It is a fantastic story about Poliphili’s travels in a dream-like world with many elements from classical mythology.
The printer of the book, Aldus Manutius of Venice, was among the most influential early printers. Not only is he famous for his beautiful books, but also for his reliable editions of classical writers. This combination of a high standard of learning and technical skills characterized many of the early printers.
This copy belonged to the Danish collector of books Peder Scavenius (1623-1685), whose collection was purchased by Frederik III and hence became a part of the oldest Royal Library. It is bound in a Frederik III binding (see an example of a Frederik III binding here).

29 x 20.7 cm.

Back | Main

© Det Kongelige Bibliotek 2003