Vatican City, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, MS Urb. lat. 632

Piero della Francesca: Libellus de quinque corporibus regolaribus Facsimile Edition

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Piero della Francesca's Libellus de quinque corporibus regolaribus (the little book on the five regular solids), penned after his works Trattato d'Abaco and De Prospectiva pingendi, stands as a Renaissance's pioneering geometric treatise. It tackled the intricate construction and calculation of polyhedra, presenting them in stereometric form for the first time in history. Preserved as a single manuscript, the Vaticano Urbinate Latino 632 codex, the treatise bears traces of an anonymous compiler, yet adorned with Piero's personal touches—drawings, amendments, and additions.

The manuscript was dedicated to Guidubaldo da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino, and embodies Piero's dedication to mathematical precision. In the early sixteenth century, the book surfaced not as Piero's original work but as part of Fra Luca Pacioli's Divina Proportione, published in Italian rather than Latin. The controversy of plagiarism, brought to light by Giorgio Vasari, ignited enduring debates and scrutiny surrounding its authorship.

We have 1 facsimile edition of the manuscript "Piero della Francesca: Libellus de quinque corporibus regolaribus": Piero della Francesca: Libellus de quinque corporibus regolaribus facsimile edition, published by Giunti Editore, 1995

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Manuscript book description compiled by the publisher.
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Piero della Francesca: Libellus de quinque corporibus regolaribus

Florence: Giunti Editore, 1995

  • Commentary (Italian) by Grayson, Cecil; Dalai Emiliani, Marisa; Maccagni, Carlo
  • Limited Edition: 998 copies
  • Full-size color reproduction of the entire original document, Piero della Francesca: Libellus de quinque corporibus regolaribus: the facsimile attempts to replicate the look-and-feel and physical features of the original document; pages are trimmed according to the original format; the binding might not be consistent with the current document binding.

This extraordinary publication was produced with the aid of sophisticated scientific and philological instruments and edited by a prestigious scientific commission composed of Cecil Grayson, Marisa Dalai Emiliani and Carlo Maccagni. It goes beyond a mere reconstruction of Piero della Francesca's original text examining particularly the comparison between Piero della Francesca's text and that of some sections of the Divina Proportione by Luca Pacioli (from the codex preserved in the National Library in Florence).


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