Painter, architect and surveyor from Cremona, Antonio Campi is recorded as making a map of the Territory of Cremona in 1571, later used as a source by Abraham Ortelius; he made a second map of the region, published in 1583, and in 1585 published his history of Cremona, Cremona fedelissima Citta et nobilissima colonia de Romani rappresentata in disegno con suo contado, et illustrata d’vna breue historia, delle cose piùnotabili … which he illustrated with his own engravings and a map of Cremona.
Antonio was the eldest of three brothers, or half-brothers (Giulio, c1508–73, and Vincenzo c1530/5–91), from the famous Campi family of Italian artists, who were mainly painters of religious subjects, and who dominated the art of their native city of Cremona throughout the sixteenth century. Their frescos can be found in the churches of Cremona and Milan. “Stylistically, they were essentially in the Mannerist tradition, but their rugged figures, use of realistic details, and penchant for striking lighting effects give them a place among the forerunners of Caravaggio, who must have been familiar with their work. Vincenzo also produced genre scenes of kitchens and markets, influenced by Netherlandish artists such as Aertsen and Beuckelaer, which are among the earliest examples of the type in Italian art” (Ian Chilvers, ODAA).