Printing R-Evolution at Correr Museum in Venice

A digital exhibition dedicated to the evolution of the printing press in modern Europe

From 01 September 2018 to 30 April 2019

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An invention isn’t a revolution, but rather the beginning of a new journey. This is the motto that introduces the printing exhibition at the Correr Museum in Venice, titled 'Printing R-Evolution 1450 - 1500' and open from September 1, 2018 to April 30, 2019!

The evolution of the press is a fascinating story that spans more than fifteen centuries: it all began in the East, in China in the 6th century AD, where a system was created that could print ink on paper using carved and inked woodblocks. In 1104, still in China, the typographer Bi Sheng invented movable clay letters, but because of their frailty they tended to break and were soon replaced by wooden characters with a system of rotating tables.

The real 'R-Evolution' occurred in the 15th century, when Johannes Gutenberg developed a movable type-based printing press system in Europe. This new printing technique revolutionized the life and mindset of millions of people by enabling printed books to be circulated throughout the whole of Europe. Many of these have survived until today and are preserved in about four thousand European and American libraries, not to count all the ones scattered across the libraries of the rest of the world, which is around half a million.

It was an invention that proved to be bigger than a revolution: it gave rise to an endless journey....

The Correr printing exhibition in Venice explores a fascinating journey that, through ancient incunabula and innovative digital materials, traces the birth and development of the printing press, highlighting in particular the impact it had on the economic and social life of early modern Europe. This original printing exhibition at the Correr Museum in Venice is the result of a European-wide research project carried out by the team of 15cBOOKTRADE, from the University of Oxford: this group uses books as a historical source and applies digital technologies to them in order to better understand the printing revolution. This research project has explored for the first time the circulation of books in fifteenth-century Europe and created scientific maps of their circulation by tracking the movements in time and space of the fifteenth-century incunabula that have survived until today. Thanks to a special software program, it is now possible to view a map of where the books moved, where they were printed, where they are preserved and who the various owners were who succeeded one another over time just by knowing the title of the book!

'Printing R-Evolution: printing from 1450 to 1500', the exhibition at the Correr Museum in Venice presents digital maps, video-stories and ancient books: visitors will be projected into the world of printing in the 1400s thanks to this original combination of past and present, mixing the press revolution and the digital revolution. In the various sections of the exhibition, next to dozens of 15th-century printed books from the collections of the Marciana National Library and the Correr Museum, hundreds of digital images of texts preserved in European and American libraries are reproduced. Through innovative tools, it is possible to trace the circulation of books, following the movement and usage of the books.

Among the maps presented in the exhibition itinerary of this original exhibition at the Correr, it is worth pointing out the digital version of the famous Venice Plan of the 1500s by De Barbari which traces the more than two hundred printing shops of the city. They testify the vitality of the printers of Renaissance Venice, making it the main European city of production and distribution of the first printing books.

Visitors' curiosity will also be satisfied thanks to the numerous video-stories throughout the exhibition: what role did books play in history? What changes did it bring about? Who were the protagonists of the history of typography? 'Printing R-Evolution', the printing exhibition in Venice will answer these and many other questions! From 1 September 2018 to 30 April 2019 come and discover the fifty years that changed the face of Europe!


Tickets for the Printing Revolution at the Museo Correr in Venice

The exhibition is included in the normal entrance tickets to the Correr Museum, which are the Musei di Piazza San Marco and Museum Pass: access to the Correr Museum is included only in these types of tickets!

Ticket for Musei di Piazza San Marco

  • Adult: €22.00
  • Concession: €16.50

Museum Pass

  • Adult: €27.00
  • Concession: €21.00


Venice Correr Museum Opening Hours

  • From November 1 to March 31
    Monday to Sunday from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm (last admission at 4.00 pm)
  • From April 1 to October 31
    Monday to Sunday from 10.00 am to 7.00 pm (last entrance at 6.00 pm)
By Insidecom Editorial Staff