GELLI, Giovanni Battista

GELLI, Giovanni Battista. La sporta. Commedia…

Florence, Giunti, 1593




£ 450


8vo, pp. 87 (i), A-E8 F4, lacking final leaf F4 (with printer’s device and motto “nihil candidius”). Woodcut vignette of the Florentine lily within border and two putti on title page; lower corner torn and restored with new paper, loss of imprint date. Clean tear at foot of C2, very occasional light spotting and age yellowing throughout. Decorative paper on pastedowns, unclear early ink handwriting (probably autograph and shelf mark) on front fly. In vellum over thick boards.


Giovanni Battista Gelli (1498-1563) was a Florentine writer. He is mostly known for his philosophical dialogues. The comedy ‘La sporta’ was first published in 1543 by the Giuntas and republished a few times throughout the sixteenth century. This work follows in the footsteps of the traditional Renaissance comic genre and it draws from Plautus’s ‘Aulularia’. However, Gelli also used comic elements from his own time such as the excesses in religious devotion. In the prologue, the author defends his attempt to blend comic elements from different times. In his view, the first-hand experience of popular life and language is beneficial to comedy.