De Nola Opusculum, Distinctum, Plenum, Clarum, Doctum, Pulcrum, Verum, Graue, Varium & Utile

A Distinct, Complete, Clear, Learned, Beautiful, True, Serious, Varied, and Useful Little Book Concerning Nola

Author Ambrogio Leone (Italian, 1458 or 1459–1525), Illustrated by Girolamo Mocetto (Italian, 1454 to 1458–not earlier than 1531), Printer Giovanni Rosso (Italian, active 1480–1519)

Place of Publication: Venice, Italy

Catalogue Raisonné

Mortimer, Italian, 255; Sander 3914; Brunet III, 982; Hind, Early Italian Engravings, Pt. II, v. 5, pp. 170-71, nos. 19-22


Overall: 31.6 x 21.6 x 1.5 cm (12 7/16 x 8 1/2 x 9/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Illustrated book with four engravings

Not On View


Europe, Prints and Drawings


Illustrated books

(Venice: Giovanni Rossi, 1514) Folio; 66 leaves; gilt-stamped armorial red morocco, rust cloth box.

Illustrations: four views of the Bay of Naples and the town of Nola.

First edition. The four engravings by Mocetto are the first signed and engraved book illustrations. The first plate is signed “HIE . MOCE.”; it is printed in a blue-gray ink. As noted by Mortimer, plates in various copies of this book are printed in varying colors. The three others in the MFA copy are printed in black. The four plates are (1) the Bay of Naples showing the location of Nola, and a view of Vesuvius; (2) a plan of ancient Nola; (3) a plan in the 15th century [this plate in the second state, with flowering plants at the bottom]; and (4) a view of the town.

The de Thou binding carries his and his wife’s arms, datable after his marriage in 1587. MFA owns a portrait by Jean Morin (R-D. 79) of de Thou.

Venice: Giovanni Rosso, 1514


Jacques Auguste de Thou (1553-1617; arms and initials on binding); Ulrich Hoepli, Milan (label); Otto H. Ranschburg, New York, from whom purchased by MFA, September 18, 1947.

Credit Line

William A. Sargent Fund