This volume, which Treccani is proud to publish as part of its Ut pictura poësis series, ideally expresses this meeting of cultures in entrusting the visual translation of five tales by Giambattista Basile to as five artists or groups of artists from five different countries. Some of the greatest exponents of today’s global art scene have participated: AES + F, Markus Lüpertz, Mimmo Paladino, Kiki Smith, Miquel Barceló. By accepting to collaborate in this project, they have made it possible to create a work that has no equal or precedent in the history of Italian publishing [...]
The extraordinary ad hoc illustrations created for this work accompany an extremely rich textual content: alongside the critical transcription of the Neapolitan text of the five fairy tales – edited by Francesco Ursini on the basis of the editio princeps del Cunto – comes a new Italian version by Roberto De Simone, the most important living interpreter of Basile's poetics, and also translations into the languages of the countries of origin of the artists [...]
Like all art books published by Treccani the volume also includes various essays intended to contextualise the work and outline its fortunes: Roberto De Simone (Basile: a biographical historical novel) recounts the life of Basile in a highly original way, concluding with a glimpse of the Cunto's anthropological interpretations; Angela Albanese (The fortune of Cunto de li Cunti in Italian and European culture) provides a rich and documented essay on the translations, rewrites and films, i.e. the various artistic forms of Basile's work, in Italy and in various European countries. Finally, Francesca Rimini (Stories in filigree. Basile in the metamorphic mirror of 21st century cinema), focuses in particular on the Cunto's transcriptions in the medium which today probably reaches the greatest number of readers or spectators and therefore constitutes the most important vehicle for offering Basile's work to the general public. [...]
Lo Cunto de li Cunti is a collection of fifty fairy tales of popular origin, told over the course of five days (hence the posthumous title of Il Pentamerone) and placed within a broader narrative fairytale framework, which connects and motivates all the other stories. The fables develop universally known fantastic ideas, still alive in tradition and today: this is the case of La Gatta Generentola and Cagliuso, the story of a wise cat who helps a poor man make his fortune, made famous by Johann Ludwig Tieck's Puss in Boots. Other characters, based on more lively seventeenth-century popular settings, became equally successful in children's storybooks, such as the unforgettable Vardiello, an inexperienced young man, kissed by luck, in spite of his simplicity.
The edition includes 149 copies, numbered in Arabic numerals
The cover is a silk-screen print by Arte 3, Milan
based on a design by Mimmo Paladino, drawn on Hahnemühle paper
The texts are in Chronicle Display font
The graphic design and layout are by Gianfranco Casula
The photolith is by Vaccari Zincografica
The print, on Wild Natural paper by Cordenons, is by Marchesi Grafiche Editoriali S.p.A.
The binding is by Arte del Libro S.r.l.