March 15 to 17, Milan hosts a journey through the history of books and printing

Logo Mostra Libri Antichi

The most important antiquarian booksellers in Italy and the world will gather in the heart of Milan for the International Exhibition of Ancient and Valuable Books, from 15 to 17 March. The exhibition, organized by Alai, the Italian Antiquarian Booksellers Association at Palazzo dei Giureconsulti, proposes a vast repertoire of the history of books and printing: from illuminated manuscripts to incunabula, from the ‘cinquecentine’ to the modern artist’s books, from nineteenth-century literature to contemporary graphics.

Among the incunabula showcased there will be a rare edition of Paolo Veneto’s Logica Parva, printed in Milan in 1474, one of the most important texts of medieval logic as well as the beautiful edition, enhanced by a large woodcut of Sant Augustine’s De Civitate Dei, printed in Venice in 1489.

Not to be missed Jacopo Foresti’s De Claris mulieribus, printed in Ferrara in 149: one of the most beautiful picture books of the Italian Renaissance.

As for the Enlightenment The Encyclopédie by Diderot et d’Alembert will be presented, one of the highest European cultural products of this period.

A prominent place in the Italian section is occupied by the complete Italian Parnassus, all the 56 volumes, a monumental collection of Italian poetry from its origins to the eighteenth century printed in Venice between 1784 and 1791, and the exquisite illustrated edition of the Works of Dante published by Zatta in 1757.

Mountain lovers will enjoy the views of The Peaks and Valleys of the Alps, London 1868, while gourmets will not miss the collection of over 60 works entirely devoted to the history, production and tasting of cheeses. Also on display is one of the most eclectic authors of Italian Futurism: Fortunato Depero, with a collection of books, pictures and original documents.

In the graphics section there will be the rare Der Alchemist by Pieter Bruegel The Old, first run, and  two volumes of Japanese prints devoted to the art of kabuki signed by Utagawa Toyokuni, one of the greatest artists in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century.

Umberto Eco and Stefano Salis will open the exhibition with a lecture. There will also be a roundtables program about the history of the ancient book, the book trade and collectors, and a collateral exhibition of old books about the economic thought, from Aristotle’s Economica to the nineteenth century.

On Sunday 17 Andrea Kerbaker will present his new book, The infinite shelf: stories of men and books. The first big history of the largest private libraries that marked the literary world: from Petrarca to Umberto Eco, through Federico Borromeo, Mazarin, Pompadour, Monaldo Leopardi, Arthur Rimbaud, Jorge Luis Borges and many others.

The full program is available on the website

International Exhibition of Ancient and Valuable Books in Milan:

  • Milano
  • 15 – 17 Marzo 2013
  •  Palazzo dei Giureconsulti della Camera di Commercio di Milano
  •  Piazza dei Mercanti 2

Solmi immagine catalogo

Sala campanella

Libro antico

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