Sunday, May 12, 2019

Bella Venezia ~ Wandering around Venice

It is the city of mirrors,
the city of mirages,
at once liquid,
at once air and stone.
~Erica Jan

How can an artist not be inspired by the beauty of Venice?! This oil painting was for my solo show in December. I mean, who doesn't love a gondolier?


The night we arrived in Venice we took a water taxi to our little apartment. There was an incredible downpour with lightening over the water. It was exhilarating and yet a bit scary! I kept wondering about the likelihood of being struck! 

The first time I heard Vivaldi played live was in Venice ... 

When we entered the apartment we rented we were even more in a state of exhilaration. This next photo is out the window of my bedroom. 

It was like a dream! A beautiful 2 bedroom apartment with beamed ceilings, antique furniture, beautiful new bathrooms and the best view EVER!

My boyfriend laughed when I sent him this photo. He has an appreciation for my wardrobe changes. In this case, I'd moved on from my plaid cotton shirts I'd been wearing in Scotland to more fitting Italian attire. I don't think it's neccisarily true but I feel a little more in keeping with Italian fashion when I wear black. 

On our first full day in Venice we were blessed with beautiful blue skies. It was a glorious September day. I'd been there in December of 1996 and it was so cold that the fountains were frozen along with part of the canal. I still loved it. I wondered what I'd feel about it now, but as soon as I started to wander down the tiny narrow streets and over the bridges, I knew I felt the same love for this wonderful city.

This was the summer of the 2017 Biennale and art was everywhere! I happened on a lovely Palazzo and discovered a new artist. Well, she's not new but she was new to me. The sound of classical music (no I'm not making this up) came in through the opened windows along with a light breeze that moved the art with its every breath. It was stunning.

Art Installation by Beverly Barkat

Libreria Aqua Alta 

This bookstore was incredible and filled to the brim. The place apparently floods like crazy so they have to keep things off the floor when the water comes in. As you can see there is a very large gondola in the middle of the store that is used for displaying "molti Libri."

The view from the back patio of the bookstore.

One more of the bookstore for my friend Evelyn, who has a thing for books and kitties!

 Gallerie dell'Accademia

I don't think we made it here in 1996 and it was high on my list for this trip. In part because of Giorgione painting The Tempest which I couldn't get a good shot of for you. There were too many people around it! It lived up to the hype. It was enchanting. You can Google it. ;)

Here is a tiny sampling of the incredible collection.

Polittico Lion con l'Annunciazione
Lorenzo Veneziano

Don't forget to look up!

Look at all those faces in the ceiling. There were hundreds! Thousands!

This room, below, was incredible. One of the large paintings installed was by Titian but I couldn't get a good shot of it.

Antonio Vivarini e Giovanni d'Alemagna's La Madonna col babino 1446

Madonna in trono che adora il Bambino dormiente
Giovanni Bellini 1516 (?)


Below, an enormous painting of Saint Mark's Square by Gentile Bellini, 1496, called Procession in Piazza San Marco. It's Tempera and oil on canvas. He must have had to run back across the room over and over to see what the whole thing looked like. He was 67 at the time.

It's hard to take in these monumental paintings sometimes. They are so massive and there is so much going on that they can be overwhelming.

The Mystical Marriage of St. Catherine (around 1575)
Paolo Caliari detto Paolo Veronese

When you zoom in and notice the details ... the clutching of pearls and intricate brocade it's absolutely incredible. I guess it's not surprising since it's Veronese but you really have to take the time with some of these pieces.

And look at these faces! The expression of the angel on the right side is so beautifully felt.

This panel, below, was on the wall as I was leaving. It's so high you can't photograph it well but it was so wonderful in its color and movement. Plus, I have a thing for gold!

Leaving the Gallerie dell'Accademia

Oh! And, here's the blouse I got in Glasgow. It's all about the sleeves.

That first day, walking around Venice, was magical. I took a day to myself and just wandered around and got reacquainted with this incredible and unique place on our planet. It feels like it's its own world, quite apart from any other. Even with all the tourists (like me!) it's completely magnificent.

At the bridge I stood 
lately in the brown night.
From afar came a song:
as a golden drop 
it welled over the quivering surface.
Gondolas, light, and music
drunken it swam out into the twilight.

My soul, a stringed instrument,
sang to itself, invisibly touched,
a secret gondola song,
quivering with iridescent happiness.
~Did anyone listen to it?
~Friedrich Nietzsche 

Venice, 2017
6 x 12" 
oil on wood panel