29 La Biblioteca pubblica veneziana e gli incunaboli miniati
Venice was central to the production of printed books in the 15th-century and illumination continued to be applied to this new type of books, beyond the age of the manuscript. However, the illuminated incunabula preserved today in the Library of the Serenissima do not represent a noticeable percentage of the production of value. As is known, very few specimens printed on parchment or with miniatures entered the Marciana collections. Yet, the activity of the press was favoured by Bessarion, who included his remarkable Roman incunabula among his legacy to San Marco. The Roman incunabula of the Bessarion collection, published between 1468 and 1472, have characteristics that are entirely similar to the manuscripts he had commissioned in the last years of his life. The incunabula that entered the library in the later centuries, chiefly following the suppressions of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, are the result of different priorities.