Quality Guaranteed | 100% Authentic Antique Maps | Museum Quality Custom Framing

The Finest Eighteenth Century Map of Venice: Ughi, 1729 [1739]

Regular price
Sale price
Regular price
Unit price
Shipping calculated at checkout.

  • Author: Lodovico Ughi 
  • Date: 1729 [1739]
  • Condition: See description
  • Inches: 59 x 69.7 [Image]
  • Centimeters: 149.86 x 177.03 [Image]
  • Product ID: 308247
The Finest Eighteenth Century Map of Venice, ‘Serenissima’ of the Adriatic
The Most Serene Republic


Lodovico Ughi's topographical map of Venice, the apex of eighteenth-century Venetian cartography, revealing the complex pattern of waterways, squares, palaces, churches, and alleyways of Venice.  The precise and beautiful craftsmanship of the artists, cartographer, papermakers, colorist, and engravers is a marvel.  A spectacular impression of a city which has changed very little over the centuries, as recognizable in1739 as it is today.

Large, engraved wall map on 8 sheets joined, with additional panels bearing the running title at head and side panels.  First published in 1729 by Baroni, this example is in second state with the new imprint Appresso Ludovico Furlanetto sopra el ponte de' Baretteri, published in 1739 by Furlanetto.

The Map as a Projection of Power

If maps are expressions of power – the technological, social, economic, political, military and cultural ability to exert authority over the world – no place in the history of the Adriatic could be more important to map than the city of Venice.  The manner in which particular places are conceptualized and constructed is presented in grand proportion in Ughi’s map of Venice.   No viewer could misunderstand the might and majesty of this 1,000 year Republic. The importance of the printed Ughi map in eighteenth century Venetian culture cannot be underestimated. The publishers, engravers, and artists involved in its creation were some of the most talented and prolific of their time.   At the time of the printing of the Ughi map, Venice had been an independent republic for almost 1000 years during much of which she had been mistress of the Mediterranean, the principal cross roads between East and West, and the richest and most prosperous commercial center in the civilized world.

For centuries, Venetian mapmakers had been copying older maps without significantly altering the appearance of the city. The Ughi map is the first and still largest topographical map produced of Venice based on accurate field surveys rather than on observation and copying of existing maps. Republished twice again during the century, it became the basis of all later topographical representations of the city, down to the fall of the Republic in 1797. Through its copies and derivatives, it dominated the field of Venetian map making well into the nineteenth century.

The Map as Art

The Ughi map is nothing less than an advertisement for the beauty, military might, and prosperousness of Venice. The title itself announces it: Iconografica Reppresentazione della Inclita Citta` di Venezia al Reggio Serenissimo Domino Veneto (Topographical Representation of the Glorious City of Venice Consecrated in the Reign of the Most Serene Veneto Domaine).

The compass rose at the upper left shows the different wind directions and their names, with wind at the cardinal points represented by putti.  At top right is the feminine depiction of an allegorical Venice, triumphantly sailing on the sea pulled by dolphins, sea creatures, and divinities, with the lion of St. Marco at her feet, symbolizing her marriage to the Queen of the sea and the riches she derives from it. St. Mark is the patron saint of Venice.

The shield at the bottom rests on the scale of “500 Venetian steps at five feet each”.   The triumphal motif  recalls the war waged in the late 17th century by Doge Francesco Morosini against the Turks for control of Crete. Around the shield of the Morosini are seen putti holding, flags, pikes, and staffs - triumphal war articles. Morosini, the last of the warrior Doges, led the battle against the Turks in the War for Candia (Crete) which was lost to the Venetians after 465 years of occupation in 1669. This symbol would not have been lost on Europeans of the time. The siege of Candia lasted for twenty-two years in which the Venetians, though from time to time aided by European allies, stood alone in the defence of the town and the encroachment of the Turks into Western Europe.  The dedication in the lower right cartouche in the lower right with the dedication of Ughi to the doge Alvise III Mocenigo, with additional descriptive text along the entire lower margin.

Flanking the map are sixteen views of the city of Venice attributed to Francesco Zucchi from Fabriche e Vedute di Venetia by Luca Carlevarijs, 1703.  On the left Veduta della Chiesa Ducale di S. Marco | Veduta della Piazza di S. Marco versola Chiesa Ducale | Veduta della Piazzetta verso la Lecca | Veduta delle Prigioni architettura Sansovino | Veduta della Piazza di S. Marco dalla parte del mare | Veduta della Piazza di S. Marco verso S. Geminiano | Produrative nove architettura di Vincenzo Scamozzio | Procurative vecchie architettura di Mastro Bono Proto di S. Marco.  To the right Veduta della Piazza di Rialto | Chiesa di S. Giorgio Maggiore Architet.ra di Andrea Palladio | Chiesa del Redentore Archi.ra di Andrea Palladio | Chiesa di S. Maria della Salute Architet.ra di Baldisera Longhena | La Lecca sopra la Pescaria Architettura Sansovino | Veduta della Dogana da Mare Architettura di Guiseppe Beloni | Veduta esteriore delle Porte dell Arsenale | Veduta del Ponte di Rialto Architet.ra di Antonio dal Ponte.

Background on Creator

Unfortunately, very little is known about Lodovico Ughi, the cartographer. Ughi was a Venetian mapmaker active during the first half of the 18th century. His topographical map of Venice is a landmark in the cartographic history of Venice and one of the largest maps of Venice ever published. The first publisher of the map, Giuseppe Baroni, was one of a group of six Venetian printmakers and merchants who in 1718 formed a guild of engravers called L'Arte degli Incisori.  When Baroni died, records show that the copper plates of the Ughi map were among those listed in the inventory for his bottega. The second publisher of the map, Lodovico Furlanetto, acquired them when he bought the entire inventory from the estate of Baroni. Furlanetto printed it for at least sixty years after substituting his own name in the lower right corner.


Susan Filter, Historic Intent: Lodovico Ughi's Topographical Map of Venice; A Large Wall Map as an Historic Document, a Work of Art, and a Material Artifact, The Book and Paper Group Annual 13 (1994)


Very well preserved for maps of this epic scale, occasional minor scuffing, mild and attractive toning, sublime hand color.  Excellent.