Francesco Colonna

The tongue-twisting title of this book can be translated as The Strife of Love in a Dream by the Lover of Polia. The intricate construction of the dream narrative and the text’s strange medley of languages sometimes taxed readers’ patience, but the elegant typography and magnificent woodcuts compensated for those difficulties. Usually attributed to the Paduan miniaturist Benedetto Bordon, the illustrations made the fame of the Hypnerotomachia in Italy and France. Grolier had as many as five copies of the first edition, including one bound for him by the royal binder Gommar Estienne (now in the collection of T. Kimball Brooker). Laubespine probably also owned a copy of the 1545 second edition.

Francesco Colonna (d. 1527)
Hypnerotomachia Poliphili
Venice: Aldus Manutius [for Leonardus Crassus], December 1499
The Morgan Library & Museum, Purchased With the Irwin Collection, 1900; PML 373