This contribution examines the situation of the Venetian patriciate after the end of the Republic of Venice focusing on the dynamics of re-employment from the individuals’ and from the government’s point of view. From 1797 on, in a new politico-institutional scenario, the patriciate found itself deprived of the sovereign status it enjoyed since centuries, so that it was forced to compete with every other social group on the same basis. Being «subjects» by then, the patricians who intended to pursue a public career had to learn how to deal with the newly established Austrian and Napoleonic governments in order to write successful job applications. The study of this source has given an insight on patricians’ understanding of ongoing transformations (especially through an analysis of stereotyped expressions, lists of previous occupations - sometimes written as in a curriculum vitae - and justifications for previous political commitment). A certain ability in presenting oneself, or even representing oneself depending on the circumstances, was indeed essential in order to improve or to consolidate one’s social position. An analysis of this source has thus given an insight on the redefinition of Venetian élites at the beginning of the Nineteenth century.
Keywords: Republic of Venice, Venetian patriciate, élites, Napoleonic era, personal career, curriculum vitae.