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Book illustration in Venice

Joseph Smith was a passionate book collector, assembling a large and important library over his long life. Together with the young scholar Giovanni Battista Pasquali, in the 1730s he founded the Pasquali press which produced some of the finest publications in mid-century Venice. There were many other important printing presses, and several of Venice's best-known artists including Giovanni Battista Piazzetta and Antonio Visentini worked as illustrators for these publishers. They produced luxury editions of classics aimed at the lucrative European market.

Torquato Tasso (1544-95)

La Gerusalemme liberata

Published by Giovanni Battista Pasquali, Venice

Bibliotheca Smithiana