In the Venetian dialect “moleca” means “crab”: in fact, the Venetian Lion said to be “in moleca” seems to spread his wings as a crab widens its claws.
This was the most common icon in Venice, thanks to the particularly marine look of the Lion. The animal seems to come out of the water, and so the picture subtly gives the idea that Venice, owing everything just to the sea, is totally independent from any near country, albeit more powerful.

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