Federico Grisone published Gli ordini di cavalcare (The Rules of Riding) in 1550, the first manual on manège riding, the ancestor of modern dressage. The Ordini codified a half-century of oral tradition of teaching this art and was a best seller and a welcome aid in educating noblemen at European courts in the art of the manège. Elizabeth Tobey and Federica Brunori Deigan have prepared the first modern edited English translation of the Ordini, which should interest Renaissance scholars and equestrians, and includes an introductory essay, a glossary of equestrian terms, and the transcription of the 1550 Italian first edition.
Grisone’s treatise and the riding masters trained at his riding academy in Naples, Italy, spread the practice of the art of manège riding to courts throughout Europe. Twenty-three Italian editions of the text were published between 1550 and 1620 and the treatise was translated into French, English, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. Many of the concepts Grisone discusses in his treatise–such as developing contact between horse and rider and collection in the horse–are still major tenets of modern dressage riding. The haute école or High School movements of classical dressage are still practiced today by such traditional academies such as the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, Austria and the Cadre Noir in Saumur, France.
Elizabeth MacKenzie Tobey received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Art History from Smith College in 1993 and her Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Art History & Archaeology at the University of Maryland in 1997 and 2005 respectively. Dr. Tobey has incorporated a lifelong interest in horses into her scholarship on equestrian culture in early modern Italy and has worked at the National Sporting Library and Museum in Middleburg, Virginia and at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. Currently she is working for the University System of Maryland on the Gates/Ithaka Project, and pursuing a Masters in Library Science at the University of Maryland.
Federica Brunori Deigan was born and raised in Italy, where she received a “laurea” in Foreign Languages and Literatures from the University of Rome La sapienza and a professional diploma from the School for Interpreters of Rome. She obtained her Ph.D. in Italian Studies from the Johns Hopkins University in 2005. She has taught Italian language, literature, and culture at Hopkins, at the University of Pennsylvania, and at the University of Maryland at College Park, where she is currently a Senior Lecturer in Italian. Her research interests are the Italian national identity and the history and literature of the 19th century and 20th century.
Hardcover, 628 pages.