20th-century facsimile of the Matthias Merian birdseye view of Venice, the outer islands, lagoon and contiguous coastline.
The harbor and canals of Venice are finely illustrated with a great number of the individual buildings easily identifiable. The Grand Canal opens onto the Adriatic, embellished with numerous sailing and merchant vessels, both at anchor and fully rigged.
The Islands in the Venetian Lagoon are also illustrated with exact detail, with San Giorgio and its buildings depicted, and Murano, Burano, Torcello, etc. represented across the upper right section. With the coat-of-arms of Venetian Republic, crowned by the Doge's cap and the Venetian Lion at center.
Mathaus Merian (1593-1650) was the father of engraver Matthäus the Younger, and of the painter, engraver, and naturalist Maria Sibylla Merian. He was born in Basel, Switzerland and trained in engraving in Zurich. After a time in Nancy, Paris and Strasbourg, he settled in Frankfurt. While there, he worked for Johann Theodor de Bry, the publisher and son of the travel writer. In 1617, he married Maria Magdalena de Bry, Johann Theodor’s daughter. In 1623, Merian took over the de Bry publishing house upon the death of his father-in-law. Merian’s best known works are detailed town views which, due to their accuracy and artistry, form a valuable record of European urban life in the first half of the sixteenth century