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Venetian artists brought a great sense of observation to their depiction of nature in a way that appeals to all our senses. For a Republic whose capital was situated on the water and the bulk of whose economy and power was derived from the sea, it seems ironic that Venetian artists rarely painted waterscapes. They concentrated instead on the ‘terraferma’, or mainland. This is a reminder, perhaps, of how closely our identity as individuals and members of communities is tied to the land we inhabit.

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