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4. Hyginus. De mundi et sphere. Venice, 1512.

After its initial printing in 1482, the Poeticon of Hyginus went through a surprising number of editions in the ensuing decades. Since this was an ancient work, there was never any intention of improving the text, and so the constellation figures were never improved either. In this edition of 1512 the publisher at least resisted the temptation to use copies of the Ratdolt woodcuts. But the artist commissioned to cut these blocks, perhaps affected by years of working in the medium, exhibited a particularly wooden style. If we compare the 1482 Ratdolt illustration of Aquarius with the 1512 version, we see that a great deal of vigor has been lost.