Jacopo De' Barbari, Panoramic view of the city, 1500
Among the hundreds of images of the town printed during the XVI century - views and planimetries, woodcuts, copper plates or etchings - this large anonymous xylography of Venice, dated 1500, occupies a special place for this exceptional dimensions, the infinite richness of details, the extraordinary quality of the drawing and engraving. It is composed of six large sheets, each on about 66 x 99 cm, that form together a panoramic view of the city, from south-west, for total cm. 135 x 282. Though it is, almost certainly, the first printed representation of the entire town, it strikes for the precision with which the details are reproduced. Inside the city it is possible to recognise a big number of churches, public buildings and private palaces that exist, not much changed in their aspect, still today. Initially carved in the year 1500, this map that includes the city, the Giudecca, S. Giorgio Maggiore and part of the island of S. Elena, the islands of the northern lagoon in the distance (Murano, Torcello, Burano e Mazzorbo) and the Alps in the horizon has requeste, certainly, a laboriuous surveying, effected, probably , by teams of building surveyors, between 1498 and 1500, as shows the request for privilege for the publishing done by the German publisher A. Kolb. It was afterwards reprinted with some modifications regarding the dating and the spire of the St. Mark's campanile, that has received interventions after the earthquake of 1511. Many have been the studies directed to determining the attribution of the work, once supposed work of Albrecht Dürer. The stylistic union of the woodcut makes suppose that it is due to a single author and precisely to Jacopo de'Barbari or "Master of the caduceus (called like this because he was used to sign his engravings - of which thirty copper plates aroound are known - with a caduceus) lived as well as in Venice in Nuremberg and llinked by friendship to Kolb and A. Dürer.
The six opriginal wood of the woodcut are presreved at the Correr Museum in Venice.