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Stock# 92842

Donato Bertelli's Rare Urban Atlas from the First Generation of Italian City Books

The 1578, third, and final edition of Donato Bertelli's Piu Nobilli Citta, a finely engraved and elaborate atlas in the style of the Italian city books of the 1560s and 70s.

The atlas opens with a fantastic view of Venice, which is masterfully engraved and speaks to the quality of the Bertelli workshop. Other finely engraved views are those of Milan, Genoa, Florence, Rome, Jerusalem, Cairo, Constantinople, and Lyon. A few of the maps double as battle plans, including those of Parma, Gotta (Gotha), and Soppoto (Borsch, Albania).

This example of the atlas with Pesche's view of Naples (Fidelissimiae Urbis Neapolitanae, cum Omnibus. . ., 1685) and Bodenher's plan of Koblenz (Coblentz Confluentia Wohl. . . [1688]) loosely laid in. Pesche's Naples was published separately by Antonio Bulifon in Paris and dedicated to the Viceroy. It is the first in a series of views that derive from Baratta's view of the city and achieved commercial success. As such, it the Pesche/Bulifon view was copied by Pompeo Sarnelli for his well-known city guide and again by Coronelli.

Donato Bertelli's atlas mostly derives from Paolo Forlani and Ferrando Bertelli's Civitatum aliquot insigniorum et locorum. . . (1568), with the removal of a number of the more minor (and less cartographically accurate) views of small Hungarian towns and forts. This earlier work itself follows the Forlani-Zenoi town book of 1567 Il Primo Libro Delle Citta, et Fortezze Principali del Mondo.

This is the third, 1578 edition of Bertelli's work, following the 1569 and 1574 editions. The editions maintain the same set of maps but differ in their ordering.


  1. Venetia
  2. Il Vero Disegno et Ritratto di Siena
  3. Fiorenza
  4. Roma
  5. Milano
  6. Parma
  7. Mirandola
  8. Genova
  9. Disegno della Fortezza et Citta di Gotta in Sassonia
  10. Fortezza di Soppoto
  11. Genevre
  12. La Imperial Citta di Augusta
  13. La Gran Citta del Cairo
  14. Tripoli e Barbaria
  15. Citta di Coron
  16. Anversa
  17. [Paris]
  18. Civitas Jerusalem
  19. Constantinopoli
  20. Lion
  21. Franckfort

Extra illustrated with:

  1. Fidelissimae Urbis Neapolitanae cum Omnibus. . .
  2. Coblentz Confluentia. . .
Condition Description
Quarto. 18th- or 19th-century thin marbled-paper boards. Boards holding, but spine mostly exposed. Frontispiece trimmed to image at the right edge, with minor paper reinforcement in upper right. Complete, per Bifolco and Ronca (this is the type example). Two additional 17th-century maps loosely laid in with some soiling, tears, and repairs. Normal collation of maps all in VG+ condition.
Bifolco and Ronca, Allegato C.