- Bisticci, Vespasiano da
- (1422-1498)Florentine bookseller who supplied the intellectuals and wealthy patrons of his time with manuscript books produced by a large team of professional scribes. Little is known about his early life except that he was born at Florence and began business as a member of the stationer's guild. His shop became a favorite meeting-place for local humanists and bibliophiles. He heartily disapproved of the newfangled printed books and sold his bookshop in 1480 when he saw that the market for hand-written books was shrinking. In retirement he produced several works, including moral treatises and a book about famous ladies, but his major work was Vite d'uomini illustri / Lives of Illustrious Men, a collection of short biographies of the leading men of his time that presented the lives of the upper-class men who were his own best customers. Appropriately for an author who hated printed books, the Lives remained unprinted until 1839.
Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. Charles G. Nauert. 2004.