1799 Viero / Sandi Map of Venice and its Lagoon

La Veneta Laguna antica e moderna... - Main View

1799 Viero / Sandi Map of Venice and its Lagoon


Salvaging Venetian civic pride.


La Veneta Laguna antica e moderna...
  1799 (dated)     19 x 25 in (48.26 x 63.5 cm)     1 : 80000


This is a finely engraved 1799 map of Venice produced by Teodoro Viero and Antonio Sandi. It was published at a low point in the city's history, soon after the republic was sublimated into the Austrian Empire, and the map can be seen as a subtle projection of civic pride and national identity in the face of foreign occupation.
A Closer Look
This map provides and overhead view of Venice and its hinterland, indicating the changes in the terrain over time and the environmental modifications which made the city's growth and continued existence possible. At top is a contemporary map of Venice, the lagoon, and its hinterland, highlighting differences in elevation, land use, aqueducts, canals, and other features of the terrain and infrastructure that developed over centuries to manage the waters of the lagoon.

The large inset at bottom illustrates the lagoon in ancient times, indicating important sites, including the Roman-era Via Emilia. At bottom-left is an illustration of the murazzi, large stone walls to protect against sea erosion that were an engineering marvel when they were constructed in the years before the fall of the republic.
Rescuing Venetian Identity
This map was produced at a fraught moment in Venice's history. After having existed as a republic for over a millennium, the city was occupied by Napoleon's army and then placed under Austrian rule as part of a peace deal at the end of the War of the First Coalition (1792 - 1797). The emphasis on the history of the city and lagoon can be seen as a subtle act of resistance against this new political reality. The dedication of the map to Pietro Grimani, a popular and learned Doge of Venice in the mid-18th century, was also likely an attempt to reinforce civic pride.

Austrian control of Venice was never solidly secured. The city was reconquered by Napoleon in 1805 before going back to Austria as the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venitia at the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Though the Austrian Empire was cosmopolitan in nature and staffed the local bureaucracy with Italians, the arrangement was never popular and became less so as Italian nationalism grew throughout the 19th century. Resistance came to the fore during the Revolutions of 1848, when a republic was briefly (re)established. Though that movement was crushed, the city was at the center of the Third Italian War of Independence in 1866, after which it joined the Kingdom of Italy.
Publication History and Census
This map was drawn by Alvise Grandis, engraved by Antonion Sandi, and published by Teodoro Viero in Venice in September 1799. It is worth noting that in the same year Sandi also published, with Francesco Tironi, a set of 24 views of the Venetian Lagoon. The present map is listed in more than thirty OCLC entries due to inconsistent cataloging, the existence of a later (1820) edition, and digital scans of both editions. Allowing that Italian libraries are not necessarily well integrated with the OCLC, a physical copy of this map looks to be held by about a dozen institutions in North America and Europe.


Teodoro Viero (1740 - 1819) was an engraver and publisher based in Venice who specialized in views of the city. He trained under Nicolo Cavalli and was the uncle of Luigi Schiavonetti. Learn More...

Antonio Sandi (October 9, 1733 - September 4, 1817) was an Italian engraver based in Venice who specialized in the production of large scale vedute. His brother Giuseppe (1763 -1803) was also an engraver. He collaborated with Francesco Tironi and Teodoro Viero among others in producing views of Venice and its lagoon. Learn More...


Very good. Rebacked. Wear along fold lines. Repaired tears and some dampstaining in the margins.


OCLC 43395048, 58994805.