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Jacopo de Barbari’s View of Venice is rightfully celebrated as one of the most comprehensive representations of an early modern European city, and perhaps the most comprehensive. Yet the View offers more than a record of Venice’s urban environment. Rather, it serves as both a key record of the city’s commercial activities and a luxury good in its own right. Chapter 20 examines Venetian trade during the era of the woodcut, at a time in which the Republic dominated trade in the Mediterranean region. Whether fine-tooled leather goods, gemstones, or fabrics, the import and export of luxury goods served as the lifeblood of the Venetian economy. However, as this essay demonstrates, shortly after the production of the View, the Republic’s economic primacy started to decline and in doing so rendered the record provided by the image all the more important.

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