Francesco Morosini “Venice's land and sea defence in Crete and the Peloponnese”
Veneto Region Command of the Guardia di Finanza, Atestino National Museum of Este, National Archaeological Museum of Verona and Municipality of Este
The Stato da Mar, the Eastern Venetian territories located along the Adriatic and Mediterranean coasts are places that were possessed by the Republic of Venice since the Middle Ages. The special features of the State were that it had no territorial cohesion, but was made up of individual cities, ports and fortresses isolated from one another and connected mainly by the sea routes along the eastern coastline of the Adriatic Sea reaching the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean Seas crossing the Ionian Islands, mainland Greece, the Morea (Peloponnese) and Heraklion (Crete).
Over the centuries, the geography of the Stato da Mar underwent many changes, especially between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, following the Ottoman-Venetian wars, new territories passed under the rule of the Venetian government and other were lost. The Coastal cities of the Morea almost all fell by the turn of the sixteenth century, while the island of Crete remained continuously under Venetian rule for more than four hundred years, until 1669. The changes of government in these territories have left evident traces also in the history of the cities, that is, in their appearance, their urban layout and their defence works. The idea of the exhibition - which has already made a stop at the Municipal Tower of Mestre - is to restore the appearance of some of the cities and fortresses in Crete and the Peloponnese to the time of Francesco Morosini through images and documents of that era.
Among some of the main works of art that show these traces are 48 large paintings on canvas dated between the end of the seventeenth century and the early eighteenth century celebrating the military feats of Morosini in the East, which are supported by official documents drawn up by the administrative and military apparatus, and printed works what were circulated throuhout Europe to satisfy the curiosity of the public regarding the history and appearance of the places where the Venetian and Holy League military campaigns were taking place.