1535 Grant Vita xpi (Life of Christ) by Ludolphus de Saxonie (Ludolph of Saxony). Illustrated - Woodcuts.


The classic work 14th century work of Ludolph of Saxon, Grant Vita XPI (Life of Christ) printed circa 1535. This edition is illustrated with 24 engravings (some repeated for a total of 47), two detailed title pages, and two plates with nine scenes (at the rear of the title pages).

About the Work -

"Not a simple biography, but a history, a commentary on the Gospels with large texts borrowed from the Fathers, a series of dogmatic and moral dissertations, of spiritual instructions, meditations and prayers, in relation to the life of Christ, from birth to His Ascension. It has been called a summa evangelica, so popular at that time, in which the author has condensed and resumed all that over sixty writers had said before him upon spiritual matters." - Wikipedia.

Thomas a Kempis drew so heavily on this work that there have been theories (unfounded) that The Imitation of Christ was actually written by Ludolph.

Provenance -

At the bottom of the title page there is an ex libris manuscript note from the convent Trinitatis Montis Pincii; this is the convent (Trinita dei Monti) found at the top of the Spanish Steps in Rome.

Physical Attributes -

Measures 31.5 x 21 x 6.5 cm, in quarto. Wood boards with leather spine (see condition notes). Four parts in two volumes (each volume with a title page. Woodcut engravings, initials, and bordered title pages (2). The v.1 title page has several grotesque creatures. Intermittent rubrication.

Pages - (1) CXII, (2) CXXVI, (3), CVI (i.e. XCVI), (1) XCLIX (i.e. CL), (1). Three leaves are missing: (volume 1, book 1) leaf iii, and (volume 1, book 2, leaves 65 and 66).

Condition -

See pictures. Front board loose and bowed; evidence of moisture at bottom edge of board. Some shelf wear, rubbing along edges and occasional rub on boards. Chipping at top and bottom of spine. Rear boards joint cracked. Closure straps exposing internal parchment.

1st blank unpaginated endpaper has moisture damage at bottom, and a 1" tear. Moisture mark continues back into the book at bottom edge, touching the lower text until approximately quire G (then it is only bottom margin gutter). Title page has coloring. "De" written on title page, and old convent ex libris (at bottom). Occasional worm hole, browning, spot (singular), printer's thumb mark, etc..

Some underlining and rubrication throughout, not consistent, in an old hand. Three leaves are missing (folio iii, and book 1, section 2, leaves 65 and 66). Page 102 has a 1 cm hole (erasure?). One woodcut colored. Rear quarter of books has a 6 cm moisture mark at foreedge, no text affected. Rear pastedown lifting.

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