18th Century Venice

This collection of offbeat articles is inspired by the engravings of Gaetano Gherardo Zompini (1700-1778). an Italian printmaker and engraver. The engravings are taken from his best known work, L’arti che vanno per via nella citta di Venezia. Published in 1753, the series of 60 engravings gives a fascinating and captivating account of street traders in 18th century Venice. We tend to have a somewhat rose-tinted view of Venice during this period – Casanova. casinos, carnivals and Canaletto are just a few of the C words that drive our vision. Zompini reveals the busy underbelly of the city – refuse collection, street lighting, itinerant buskers, knife grinders and a great deal more of life at street level that is often overlooked. This page will greatly expand in the coming weeks to include more engravings by Zompini together with brief commentaries. All comments are welcome, and I hope you enjoy the page. Click on the images to read more.

Dancing Dogs
Lamplighters and Lantern Bearers
The Coal Guys
The Canal Dredgers
The Marmot Guy
The Cat Gelder
The Water Lady
Dustmen and Chimneysweeps