CAMPO, Antonio.. Cremona fedelissima città et nobilissima colonia de romani rappresentata in disegno col suo contado et illustrata d'vna breue historia delle cose piu notabili appartenenti ad essa et de i ritratti naturali de duchi et duchesse di Milano e compendio delle lor vite da Antonio Campo pittore e caualier cremonese al potentissimo e felicissimo re di Spagna Filippo II d'Austria

Cremona, Ippolito Tromba e Ercoliano Bartoli., 1585

Folio (402 x 265mm). Allegorical title-page with figures, one winged figure is working on an inscription to Philip II, whose device appears at the head of the title and coat of arms below (with alterated date where it reads 1583), portrait of Philip II in a medallion without cap and 55 small shields with the arms of the states belonging to the Spanish crown, allegory of Cremona on the verso of the second leaf, portrait of Antonio Campo, figure with the Carroccio proceeding from the gates of Cremona, 9 oval portraits of bishops or other illustrious personalities, 24 oval portraits of the dukes and duchesses of Milan with the portrait of Philip II wearing a hat on p.112, plates depicting the baptistery and its plan, the facade of the Cremona Cathedral, the tower and its plan all engraved by Agostino Carracci; the plan of Cremona folded several times and dated 1582, the map of the Contado and Diocese of Cremona engraved by David de Laude , text within woodcut border, woodcut initials and headpieces, with the blank leaf at the end of the third book. Early XVIII century stiff vellum with gilt title on spine, marbled edges. A small wormtrak in the upper white margin of the first five leaves, a very fine wide margined copy in eighteent century stiff vellum with brown morocco lettering-piece on spine from the library of the Zurla family from Crema.

First edition of this magnifcently illustrated history of Cremona, one of the most beautiful illustrated books of the late Cinquecento. The work, divided in four books, contains the history of Cremona cronologically organized from the foundadion by the Romans up to 1585. A fifth book, devoted to the description of the Cathedral and other churches, announced by the author was never published. The book is illustrated by 33 medallion portraits of Cremona prominrnt citizens and the dukes and duchesses of Milan by Agostino Carracci; many of the accompanying letterpress descriptions include a note as to the source of the image, including on page 104 a now lost portrait of Massimiliano Sforza by Leonardo da Vinci, then 'in casa di Francesco Melcio gentil'huomo Milanese'. Our copy belongs to the second -the correct one- issue of the book ‘with only 56 lines in the address to the Consiglieri (shortened by the elimination of references to an unpublished fifth book on churches of Cremona), and with a second portrait of Philip II printed on O4v, rather than a masked-reprinting of the plate appearing on the title verso. The large city plani is also in the second issue, with the engraver signing himself “David de Laude Crem. Hebreus”: a rather early reference to a Jewish engraver in the Renaissance' (Sotheby's The Cottection of Otto Schäfer, 1994). The title-page, the first portrait of Philip II, the allegory of Cremona, and the Carroccio are all signed by Antonio Campo as a designer.


Cicognara 3977; Adams C 489; Mortimer Italian 100.



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