Nicolas de Francfort, un Allemand à Venise au tournant du XVe siècle

Abstract : Nicolas of Frankfurt (dead in 1524) is a German printer and publisher, who began his activity in Venice in 1473, shortly after the first book was printed in the city in 1469 by John of Spire. By analysing his life and career in Venice, we try to have a better understanding of the printing industry between the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th century. Thanks to the great variety of sources – contracts, wills, judicial sources, epigraphy... –, we also aim to understand how foreign craftsmen were able to become integrate into the Venetian society. As a German printer and publisher, Nicolas of Frankfurt is not a major figure of history of printing. But he joined some lucrative and lasting associations within the German community in Venice and with other printers. Testimonies of his life in Venice also show that he tried to become integrated by other means and beyond the printing community. He participated to numerous confraternities or scuole, which is an important socialisation tool in the Venetian society. He also married the daughter of a glassblower from Murano and his daughter married a Venetian spice merchant. Finally, he made some investments in Venice real estate and in the Venetian Terra ferma. His choices and alliances reveal some of the mechanisms of integration for a foreign craftsman in Venice, despite the sometimes ambiguous attitude of Venetian authorities. With this example, we try to show that foreign craftsmen, non-Italian as well as non-Venetian Italians, had tools to build themselves a stable socio-economical situation in the city, by using resources from their national community and by becoming an actor of the Venetian social life.
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Catherine Kikuchi. Nicolas de Francfort, un Allemand à Venise au tournant du XVe siècle. Revue historique, Presses Universitaires de France, 2014. ⟨hal-01586399⟩

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