Printers and Publishers: The Merchants of Venice

Jane A. Bernstein

in Music Printing in Renaissance Venice

Published in print November 1998 | ISBN: 9780195102314
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853113 | DOI:
Printers and Publishers: The Merchants of Venice

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Venice offered an ideal center for the printing of books. It boasted the best and most advanced distribution system in the world. The first book was not printed in Venice until 1469 when a German immigrant named Johannes de Spira obtained a five-year monopoly from the Venetian Senate. Printing became a boom industry, in which many competed but few survived. One of them, the Frenchman Nicolas Jenson, became the most celebrated publisher in Venice during this period. Jenson and Johannes de Spira's firm, now headed by Johannes's brother Wendelin and by Johannes de Colonia, formed two syndicates that dominated the industry.

Keywords: Nicolas Jenson; Venetian Senate; monopoly; Johannes de Spira

Chapter.  8983 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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