VECELLIO, Cesare. Costumes anciens et modernes. Habiti antichi et moderni di tutto il mondo di Cesare Vecellio, précédés d'un essai sur la gravure sur bois par M. Amb. Firmin Didot, vols Ι-ΙΙ, Paris, Firmin Didot Frères Fils & Cie, 1861-62.


Cesare Vecellio (c.1530-1601) was an Italian painter and engraver. He was born in the region of Veneto and died in Venice. He was a cousin of the painter Titian, whom he accompanied on his trip to Augsburg in 1548. Also, Cesare Vecellio probably worked as an assistant to Titian. Many of Cesare’s works were attributed to Titian, perhaps with the former’s knowledge. A small “Trinity” by Cesare Vecellio is kept in the Pinacoteca of Milan. The author also published “Corona delle nobili e donne virtuose” (1591), a book of lace patterns.

Vecellio became famous with “Habiti antichi et moderni...”, which was published for the first time in 1590 and reedited in 1598 with additional material. The wood engravings are probably the work of Christopher Krieger from Nürnberg. The work depicts about six hundred male and female costumes, mainly from Europe but also from Asia and Africa, sometimes with added fictitious elements or completely imaginary. The wood engravings with the accompanying texts were republished in the mid 17th century. This edition was the last one. Vecellio never travelled himseld. Many of his drawings of human types are influenced by previous illustrations by Nicolas De Nicolay and Pierre de Coeck.

Written by Ioli Vingopoulou

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