Painted by the Venetian artist-engineer Jacopo Bassano in 1576, The Flood of the Colmeda commemorates the 1564 inundation of a small town in the mountains to the north of Venice. Adopting an ecocritical perspective, this paper argues that Bassano’s painting evokes period speculation about the potential human causes of flooding on the Venetian mainland. This argument in turn suggests that the artist's rustic style was a response not only to the taste for pastoral imagery in the city of Venice, but also to mounting concerns regarding the deleterious environmental effects of aggressive agricultural expansion throughout the Venetian empire.
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