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A heroic figure of Neptune appears astride a sea creature in the foreground of Jacopo de’ Barbari’s ambitious woodcut of Venice. The body of the Roman god directs us vertically, toward the commercial hub of the city, and to his collaborator, the mythological messenger god Mercury. With his trident, Neptune points toward the left, perhaps purposefully, since this is where the Frezzeria is located, the street where many printers’ shops were being established. Suspended from the trident is a tablet with an inscription informing us that he is smoothing the waters, a reference to the sea but also to printmaking, since the distinctive shape of the block is characteristic of weights used to press paper flat. Taking a cue from Neptune and the View, chapter 7 creates an itinerary of spaces connected with the business of print in Venice during the sixteenth century.

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