A Grand Entry

Paravicini, Baldassare (author); Quadrio, Giambattista (architect).

Milano sempre grande nel procurare la promozione de' suoi figli alla dignità di padre e di pastore, nell'ergere pomposo apparato a riceverli, nel mantenere filiale ossequio dopo averli ricevuti. Circostanze descritte nell'elezione e nel solenne ingresso fatto in Milano dall'Eminentissimo signor Cardinale Federico Caccia suo Vescovo il giorno 11 di Dicembre 1696

Milan: Nella Regia Ducal corte per Marc 1696


Quarto: 26 x 18.8 cm. 116, [10] pp. Collation: A2, B-R4. With four added engraved plates.


An excellent, unsophisticated copy in carta rustica with decorative marbled paper along the spine. A very fresh and broad-margined copy with some deckled edges. Light foxing to outer margin of 2 plates. Tiny stain in blank area of 1 plate. 2 leaves soiled. Very fine. EXTREMELY RARE. Illinois and Getty only in North America.

The book chronicles the celebrations for the entrance of Cardinal Archbishop Federico Caccia into Milan and a detailed description of all the festive apparatuses and decorations created for the event, as well as a complete list of the participants. 

The 4 engraved plates represent two arches, one erected in Porta Ticinese (near the Basilica of Sant' Eustorgio) and the other between the Duomo and Piazza Mercanti, by Giovanni Battista Quadra (i.e. Giambattista Quadrio), architect of the Fabbrica del Duomo, who also designed the Chapel of the Annunciation in Camposanto; he was also entrusted with several other projects of city festivities such as those for Archbishop Odescalchi in 1714. The paintings were the work of two important Milanese artists, Federico Bianchi and Filippo Abbiati.

Prior to arriving in Milan, the Cardinal was received on 20 November with great fanfare at Lodi. On 10 December, Caccia entered (incognito) into Milan and took up residence in the archbishop's palace, as the ceremonial entry was scheduled for the following day. On December 11 the cardinal arrived in a carriage at the church of S. Eustorgio, where he donned his ecclesiastical garments. It was from there that he and his retinue began the long and solemn procession to the Cathedral. The decorations of the Duomo (both within and without, were magnificent. Between each column, against a backdrop of precious draperies, monumental (5 by 6 meters) paintings (the famous quadroni) depicting the life and miracles of St. Carlo Borromeo were exhibited.

The arches, adorned with paintings, inscriptions, and sculptures, are given special attention. "The Arch erected near Sant' Eustorgio occupied the whole width of the road ... It was this one arranged with three openings, two smaller ones on the sides and a larger one in the middle. It was composed of two orders of architecture, one Tuscan… etc." The second arch was much slimmer than the first, owing to the narrowness of the streets. The craftsmen were so successful in giving these temporary monuments the appearance of permanent structures that they seemed to be destined for the years, even if they were constructed for only a single event. The columns seemed to be made of various colored marble, the cherubs and other statues appeared to be made of bronze, etc.

The arches (with the coats-of-arms, paintings, cherubs, bronze statues representing virtues, etc.) were meant to symbolize the Milanese church, the Cardinal's family, and the great virtues of both. And the entire symbolic program, including all of the paintings and inscriptions are described and explained.

The text is the work of Baldassare Paravicini, secretary of the general council of the LX decurioni.

Predari, p. 169. Not in Hoepli. Ruggieri 833. For more on Quadrio, see Clelia Alberici, Il Duomo di Milano: dizionario storico, Milan, 1986, pp. 49 and 261.