First edition of one of the most important illustrated surgical books of the Renaissance.
Guidi’s Chirurgia derives from the Nicetas codex, a tenth-century illustrated Bysantine manuscript of surgical works on the treatment of fractures and luxations. This Chirurgia is a collection of works by Hippocrates, Galen and Oribasius, with commentaries by Guidi. It contains: Hippocrates: de Ulceribus, de Fistulis, de Vulneribus Capitis, de Fracturis, de Articulis, de Officina medici; Galen: De Fasciis; Oribasius: De Laqueis, De Machinamentis.
In 1542, Guidi presented an illustrated copy of the manuscript, along with his own Latin translation, to François 1er, to whom he served as royal physician from 1542 until the king’s death in 1547. This tranlsation was printed by Pierre Gaultier, a printer residing at the castle of Benvenuto Cellini, where Guidi also lived during the time he spent in Paris. The Chirurgia was the only one of Guidi’s works published during his lifetime.
The beautiful woodcuts illustrating the volume are copies of the drawing’s in Guidi’s Latin manuscript. These have been claimed to be the work of the Italian mannerist Francesco Primaticcio. However, for both stylistic and logical reasons, it is more likely that the drawings were made by the school of Francesco Rosso Salviati.
“This book is often considered to be the finest textbook of surgery to be printed in the sixteenth century, and the various instruments, bandages, orthopedic machinery, and surgical procedures are beautifully illustrated” (Heirs).
“One of the most beautiful scientific books of the Renaissance, Guidi’s Chirurgia derives from the Nicetas Codex, a tenth-century illustrated Byzantine manuscript of surgical works on the treatment of fractures and luxations by Hippocrates, Galen, and Oribasus” (Norman).
A fine copy in an exceptionally large binding by the French master binder Jean de Gonet. Mostly known for the smaller formats this is certainly one of his most elaborate and large size works.