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Chapter 2 argues that the View of Venice is surprisingly new compared to portraits of cities produced during the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. In it, Venice is surrounded by the heads of the principal winds, a concept borrowed from the world maps of Ptolemy’s Geography, for which the heads encircling the Old World represent and indicate the cardinal directions. Similarly, the View depicts Venice as the fulcrum of the world—not only a city-world but the city-world of Renaissance Europe. The urban space of Venice is conceived as a realistic portrait of the city and as a metaphor for the space of geography; analysis of some peculiarities of the View reveals how the concept of Ptolemaic space influenced its making. For example, perceived errors in the apparent perspective view of the map can be linked to Ptolemaic geometry of a curved space projected on a flat surface.

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