First English edition of the Nuremberg chronicle: being the Liber chronicarum of Dr. Hartmann Schedel…
FOLIO XLIII verso and XLIIII recto

The scenic illustrations of the Chronicle are of two kings: (1) Those of a general nature, used to represent a number of cities, and (2) those designed to represent a particular city, and therefore not repeated. We are here concerned with the second class. The first specific illustration was of Jerusalem (at Folio XVII recto); and now we have the second one, the city of Venice.

In the foreground is the favorite mode of Venetian conveyance, the gondola. Three couples are about to take passage.

As the eye scans the waterfront we note two columns. They are of Egyptian granite, and were brought to Venice as trophies by Doge Domenico Michieli in 1126. In 1180 they were set up with their present fine capitals and bases. One is surmounted with a bronze lion (the symbol of St. Mark), cast in Venice about 1178. In 1329 a marble statue of St. Theodore, standing on a crocodile (dragon), was placed on the other column. Both are shown in the woodcut. St. Theodore is regarded as one of the chief patron saints of Venice. His body was brought from Constantinople in 1260. In art he appears as a warrior in armor, generally trampling on the dragon.

And as we look about the city we see Venetian gothic architecture, both ecclesiastical and domestic. Also visible are the campanili (‘bell towers’), one of the most striking features of Venice. These were at one time even more numerous. Earthquakes and the settling of foundations have brought many of them down, the latest to fall being the great tower of San Marco itself, which collapsed in 1902. Its reconstruction was undertaken at once, and completed ten years later. These towers are almost invariably square, as we see them on the woodcut. The campanile is usually a plain brick shaft with shallow pilasters running up the faces. It has small angle windows to light the interior staircase and is not broken into stories with grouped windows. Above the shaft comes the arcaded bell chamber, frequently built of Istrian stone, and carrying either a cone, cupola, or pyramid.

The ordinary Venetian house was built like a courtyard, and was one story high. On the roof was an open loggia for drying clothes; but apparently this is not washday on the Rialto. In front, between he houses and the water, ran the quay or wharf, as we see it in the woodcut before us.

As early as 1339 Venice had already established a hold on the mainland, and ceased to be purely an island empire.