The city of Venice is defined by a tenuous pact with the sea. Nature and architecture coexist in a balance unprecedented in urban history. No political, cultural, ecological, or architectural examination of Venice can approach the topic without some consideration of the city’s maritime setting. In recent publications, scholars have explored the rich architectural heritage of Venice through a variety of critical stances, yet none has analyzed the urban morphology and aesthetics of this miraculous “floating” city from the perspective of the aquatic milieu as the physical and metaphorical generator of architectural form. In Venice from the Water: Architecture and Myth in an Early Modern City, Daniel Savoy combines scrupulous archival research with...

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