Camillo Palladini's Discourse on the Art of Fencing is an extraordinary document. Hitherto unpublished and largely unknown, it sheds new light on Italian swordplay at the end of the sixteenth century. Housed in the De Walden Library at the Wallace Collection, it has long been off-limits to researchers and, due its fragility, does not appear on public display.
This stunning book, a join endeavour between the Royal Armouries and the Wallace Collection, reproduces the manuscript in its entirety. Forty-six red chalk drawings appear alongside a transcription and translation of the original Italian text. A critical introduction positions Palladini in the tradition of the great Italian fencing masters: Marozzo, Agrippa and Giganti.
The Art of Fencing is a striking example of Renaissance swordsmanship, and is perfect for students of fencing, lovers of Italian art and scholars of early modern Europe.