Graffiti in Venetië | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 131, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163



This article examines how and why Venetians wrote on walls in the early modern period. From the Piazza San Marco area – the city’s political and religious heart – to the peripheral quarantine island and the ducal prisons, it analyses the locations and meaning of official and subversive writing practices, using archival, archaeological, and visual sources. By first examining accepted forms of writing and drawing on walls and pillars, the article aims to offer a broader contextualization of the graffiti and placards that attacked those in power. Social historians have shown that ordinary people were integral to pre-modern political dynamics. Yet Venice is still often portrayed as , an exceptionally serene city-state, an image constructed and projected during the late medieval and early modern period. A further investigation of subversive writings in the Venetian urban landscape can help to establish the political role of ordinary Venetians.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): early modern Venice; graffiti; popular politics; urban history
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