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A Magnificent Plan of Venice

Venice. BLAEU, J./ MORTIER, P. [Amsterdam, 1670/ 1704]
. 17 3/4 x 39 1/2 inches
Superb hand color; fine condition.


Sole edition. A splendid two-sheet view of Venice, in a superb, very beautifully colored example. It displays this most unique of cities in nearly photographic detail and captures the vibrancy of its maritime culture with the hundreds of various nautical craft it illustrates. "The etching of the entire city and neighbouring islands is very accurate" (Moretto). St. Mark's Square and Basilica are seen at lower center and above it to the left is the Rialto Bridge. The city's extensive ship-building works, the Arsenale, is well detailed at right. All of the city's structures, including those on the surrounding islands, are displayed in remarkable detail.
Although the plates for this work were engraved in 1670 for Joan Blaeu’s townbook of Italy, it was not published until this 1704 edition by Pierre Mortier. The fire of 1672 that decimated the Blaeu firm precluded this piece from appearing in any of its atlases. The plates, like a handful of the others of the Blaeu firm, were purchased by Pierre Mortier, who would publish the view in his own atlas of city plans.

Moretto, G. Venetia, no. 126; Cassini, di G. Piante E Vedute Prospecttiche Di Venezia, no. 47; Van der Krogt, 4609 state 2.

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