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What was Venice like during the Renaissance, at the height of its power? How did the city look, and how did its citizens live? And just who were the people of this most cosmopolitan republic, a leading port city of Europe and gateway to Byzantium and the Muslim Levant? How did its splendid art differ from that of mainland Italy, and why? Through close examination of Renaissance paintings, drawings, book illustrations, and other art works, Patricia Fortini Brown brings this world alive, revealing a culture of high beauty, artifice, and craftsmanship.