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At Home In Early Modern Venice

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the place the Netherlandish immigrant traders held in Venetian society, starting with its most visible expression, their homes. The house of Carlo Helman, for example, contained more than 130 paintings, including works by important Venetian artists such as Titian, Bassano, and Veronese. The homes of the Netherlandish merchants in Venice do not give the impression of a segregated group of immigrants, but of a comparatively very wealthy group. Information from the archives of the Avogaria di Comun gives an idea of one intimate relationship between a Netherlandish trader and a Venetian girl. By the first half of the seventeenth century the Venetian patriciate was experiencing a demographic crisis, caused by the tendency of noble families to restrict marriages in an attempt to maintain the family property intact and further aggravated by the plague epidemic of 1629-1631.

Keywords: Carlo Helman; Netherlandish merchants; Venice



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