Palermo citta principalissima della Sicilia...

Natal Bonifacio (*1537 - 1592)
Antique town view of Palermo, Sicily, Sicilia. Printed in Rome by Giovanni Orlandi in 1602.

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Reference 12831

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Important and First Large Printed Map of the City of Palermo by Natale Bonifacio.

A very fine and rare map of Palermo by Natale Bonifacio. The detailed plan of Palermo and its surrounding lands showing the Royal Palace, the fortress and harbors, the fortifications, the street plan, and houses. This is the second state (of two) of the Palermo map, which was designed by Orazio Maiocchi (Maiocco) and engraved by Natale Bonifacio. It was published by Claudio Duchetti and bears the address of Giovanni Orlandi.

The map prominently features the imperial coat of arms of the royal house of Austria-Spain at its center. In the cartouches located at the top left and right, crowned with the Colonna-Orsini coat of arms, you'll find the dedication.

Along the bottom margin, there's a numerical key consisting of 128 references to notable places and monuments, arranged in 15 columns. The last cartouche provides editorial details: Presbiter Horatius Maiocchus Inventor. Natalis Bonifatius Fecit. Ioannes Orlandi fomis romae 1602. Romae Apud Claudij Duchetij Anno D[omi]n[i]. 1580.

Among the most popular cartographic works are the Italian atlases of the 16th century, the so-called Lafreri atlases, an individual composition of maps of different types and sizes. The maps are very rare and can often only be found in large libraries and state collections.


This work is exceptionally rare, with only 12 known examples preserved in public collections worldwide (refer to Bifolco-Ronca, 2018, #1178).


CartographerNatal Bonifacio
TitlePalermo citta principalissima della Sicilia...
Publisher, YearGiovanni Orlandi, Rome, 1580 [1602]
Plate Size53.0 x 40.4 cm (20.9 x 15.9 inches)
Sheet Size54.5 x 51.5 cm (21.5 x 20.3 inches)
ReferenceBifolco S. & Ronca F.: Cartografia e topografia italiana del XVI secolo, No. 1178 II/II; Tooley, R.V.: Maps in Italian Atlases of the Sixteenth Century, No. 431/432.


Small tear at upper right margin backed to just inside the image, margins a little bit browned. Very good condition.


Natale Bonifacio, also known as Natale Bonifacio de Sebenico, was an engraver and wood cutter from Dalmatia who worked and lived in Venice and Rome. In the 1570s, he created engraved maps in Venice, which were subsequently featured in Civitatum aliquot insignorum et locorum magis..., initially published by Ferrando Bertelli in 1568 and later by Donato Bertelli in 1574. Starting in 1575, he established himself in Rome, where he prolifically produced numerous engravings encompassing both ecclesiastical and secular subjects. Notable among his works are the renowned 1580 map of Palermo, a perspective view of Acquapendente from 1582, and the 1587 map of Abruzzo. Bonifacio's exceptional engraving skills established him as the preeminent Roman topographer of his era.

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Natal Bonifacio: Palermo citta principalissima della Sicilia....
Antique town view of Palermo, Sicily, Sicilia. Printed in Rome by Giovanni Orlandi in 1602.

Italy - Bonifacio, Natal - Palermo citta principalissima della...

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