Privilege Granted to Benedetto Bordon, Venice (1504)

Source: Scanned from the manuscript held in the Venetian State Archives: ASVe, Collegio Notatorio, reg. 15, fol. 116r. (118r. n.n.).

Privilege Granted to Benedetto Bordon, Venice (1504), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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Record-ID: i_1504a

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Full title:
Privilege Granted to Benedetto Bordon for 'Triumph of Caesar'

Full title original language:

Approved prior to the enactment of all significant Venetian print, privilege and license legislation, Benedetto Bordon received a privilege in 1504 for the series of twelve woodcuts that depict the 'Triumph of Caesar' carved by northern European woodcutter Giacomo di Argentina. A pioneer in Venetian printed book and 'ducali' illustrations, Bordon’s unique position as an artist closely associated with both the printmaking community and political establishment equipped him to traverse new ground as the first printmaker to achieve a privilegio in his own right. His work likewise set a precedent as the earliest figurative print privilege conferred by the Venetian Republic, let alone elsewhere in Europe. Approved by the Council of Ten prior to establishment of legislative oversight of the privilege system, Bordon, as with his contemporaries, experienced few limitations on his designs and publication schedule. In contrast, Bordon’s 1508 and 1526 'privilegi' were subject to regulatory reforms that would result in the premature nullification of the former and tighter restrictions for approval of the latter temporary monopoly.

1 Commentary:

  • Massing, Jean Michel, ‘The Triumph of Caesar by Benedetto Bordon and Jacobus Argentoratensis, Its Iconography and Influence’, Print Quarterly, Vol. 7, No. 1 (1990), pp. 2-21.

  • Landau, David and Parshall, 'Peter, The Renaissance Print, 1470-1550' (New Haven, 1994), pp. 150 and 300.

  • Armstrong, Lilian, ‘Benedetto Bordon, 'Miniator', and Cartography in Early Sixteenth-Century Venice’, Imago Mundi, Vol. 48 (1996), p. 91, no. 2.

  • Witcombe, Christopher L.C.E., 'Copyright in the Renaissance: Prints and the Privilegio in Sixteenth-Century Venice and Rome' (Leiden, 2004), pp. 34-35 and 91-94.

  • Fulin, Roberto, ‘Documenti per servire alla storia della tipografia veneziana’, Nuovo archivio veneto, 23 (1882), pp. 154-155, no. 141.

Related documents in this database:

Author: N/A

Publisher: N/A


Location: Venice

Language: Italian and Latin

Source: Scanned from the manuscript held in the Venetian State Archives: ASVe, Collegio Notatorio, reg. 15, fol. 116r. (118r. n.n.).

Persons referred to:
Bordon, Benedetto
Caesar, Gaius Julius
Caotorta, Vito
Corner, Andrea
Foscolo, Marco
Pesaro, Hieronimo
di Argentina, Giacomo

Places referred to:

Cases referred to:

Institutions referred to:
Consiglio dei Dieci (Council of Ten)

Venetian decree on privileges (1517)

printing, history of
Ancient Rome
Artistic works
Benedetto Bordon
Benedetto Bordone
Collegio of Venice
Early Modern
Gaius Julius Caesar
Giacomo di Argentina
Jacob of Strasburg
Jacobus Argentoratensis
Jacobus of Strassburg
Jakob von Strassburg
Julius Caesar
Renaissance, the
Triumph of Caesar
applied art, protected subject matter
author's remuneration
authorship, legal concept of
books, protected subject matter
classics, Greek and Latin
copying, concept of
foreign reprints
penalties, paid to author(s)
penalties, paid to fiscal authorities
privileges, Venetian
privileges, printing
woodcuts, protected subject matter

Responsible editor: Sarah Alexis Rabinowe

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