September 16, 2004

Il Ballarino

The first thing I stumbled upon at Greg Lindahl’s site was his facsimile presentation of John Florio’s New World of Words, a fascinating Italian-to-English dictionary dating from 1611. Florio (1553-1625) was the offspring of an Italian Protestant who had found refuge in England. He is best remembered for his dictionaries (his first Worlde of Wordes was published in 1598), and for his translations of Montaigne’s Essays. It took me a couple more visits before I discovered that this was just one among several works presented by Mr Lindahl: among these is a dance-manual, Fabritio Caroso’s Il Ballarino, dating from 1581, from which I lifted the following images:

'Alba Novella (Balletto)', woodcut illustration from Caroso's 'Ballerino'.


'Alta Regina (Cascarda)', woodcut illustration from Caroso's 'Ballerino'.
Il Ballerino (1581) is an important source of information on sixteenth century dances, containing rules for the art of dancing and lute arrangements of dance music. An expanded edition, Nobiltà di Dame, appeared in 1600. Although Nobiltà contains many of the same dances as Il Ballarino, many of them have changed or updated choreographies - source here.
'Este Gonzaga (Balletto)', woodcut illustration from Caroso's 'Ballerino'.


'Ardente Sole (Balletto)', woodcut illustration from Caroso's 'Ballerino'.

As well as Florio’s dictionary, there is also a facsimile of a Dictionarie of the French and English Tongues compiled by one Randle Cotgrave, which also dates from 1611. In addition to these, there are a few other dance manuals, and sundry books on fencing, music, cookery, brewing and needlework.

'Florido Giglio (Cascarda)', woodcut illustration from Caroso's 'Ballerino'.


'Squilia Cascarda', woodcut illustration from Caroso's 'Ballerino'.

Click on the images to see them enlarged - there are higher-resolution versions of these images on Mr Lindahls’s site.

Woodcut portrait of Caroso.


Posted by misteraitch at September 16, 2004 01:33 PM | TrackBack

Just to say that I love what you do. I am not an historian or something like that, but I like the tone of your blog.

Posted by: Bernard on September 16, 2004 11:03 PM

I just wanted to say that you show great taste in websites!

Posted by: Mr Lindahl on October 4, 2004 07:23 AM
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