Venice – Venetia
Rare map: with doge in the bottom center
Date of the first edition: 1572
Date of this map: 1582
Dimensions (not including margins): 33,5 x 48,3 cm
Condition: Very good, strong copper engraving with lovely original colouring and wide margins. Map is still framed.
Condition Rating: A+
Verso: text in Latin
Map reference: Moretto, 26; Taschen, Br. Hog., p. 112; Fauser, 14690
From: Civitatis Orbis Terrarum (Liber primus quartus, first edition 1572, this edition 1588), Köln, Gotttfrie von Kempen. Ba, der Krogt 4,41:1.1.
Hogenberg’s Venice: history in stone
Venice was populated by people living on Torcello, an island at the northern edge of the Venetian Lagoon. Between 696 and 1797 it was ruled by a Doge (since 1310 with a Council of Ten). It was an autocracy “pure sang”: the population had no say in governmental matters.
The San Marco sestiere (district) as the most important of the six districts dominates the center of the map. The Piazza San Marco, the Doge’s Palace and the Basilica (inducted in 1094) stand out. At the waterfront the two columns bear the city’s patrons: Mark and Theodore. The slender campanile nearly 100 meters dates from 1193. Note also the many gondolas. Justin front lies the island of San Giorgio Maggiore (part of the same sestiere), with a predecessor of the now famous church (designed by Andrea Palladio). From here, every visitor has a unique view on the Piazza San Marco. Since 1181 there was already a pontoon bridge over the Canal Grande, the only local bridge for centuries. The structure collapsed a few times and it was in 1591 finally replaced by the Rialto Bridge as we currently know it.
At the entrance of the Grand Canal on the left side one notices the Dogana di Mare, customs and toll station (which is still there). Towards the right side of the island lies the famous Arsenal, the nucleus of the Venetian navy and merchant fleet. It is estimated that at its peak in the 16th century approximately 3.000 people worked in the Arsenal just worked. Now it hosts the Venice Biennale arts exhibition. Above the town are the islands of Murano, whereto the local glass industry was reallocated to in the 13th century for fire protection reasons (see final picture). The laguna (with Lido) is shown at the bottom of the map. The inset of the map illustrates a procession with the doge, also called Il Serenissimo (originally this name was a Byzantine title bestowed on the Doge). The Treaty of Campo Formio in 1797 marked the end of the independent Venice (and its importance as a maritime power) when it became vassal state of Napoleon.
Braun Hogenberg, Venice Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Vol I, 1572.
See also the optica view of San Marco, NN, ca. 1780: notice the incorrect mirror image.
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