Venice plays a central role in Nievo’s narrative worlds, both as a literary theme and as a social and political reality, as his novel Angelo di bontà demonstrates in a particularly original manner. In this first narrative testimony of his reflections on the Serenissima and the significance of the old Republic in Italian history, the cliché of decadence, which is still associated with 18th century Venice today, is reinterpreted according to the proposed reading matter. By presenting the lagoon capital as the «City of the Eye», in which the common stereotype initially seems to be proven true, the text develops into a sophisticated and ironic as well as morally instructive portrayal. On the one hand, the aim of the narration, which separates visual stimuli from the biased connotation of superficiality, is shown by assigning sensory perceptions a moral function. On the other hand, the text systematically appeals to the visual imagination of the reader by juxtaposing and interweaving the themes of diverse paintings, so as to “combine” them, as it were.