Private and urban gardens in Venice

The orchard of the Franciscan Church Redentore on the Giudecca island.

A city without land where to expand could not afford to waste vast areas for gardens. In spite of this logical issue, the garden was a must, a status symbol.

Garden in the former Palazzo Contarini dal Zaffo now a nunnery.

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Movies in Venice

Summertime55Some movies that made out of Venice a real icon.

How to forget Catherine Hepburn and Rossano Brazzi in Summertime? 1955

Here you find some of the most famous scenes.

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The Restoration of the Colleoni Monument

Colleoni

Watch this video on the restoration of the Bartolomeo Colleoni monument, the famous captain originally from Bergamo who fought for the Venetian Republic. The Restoration was generously sponsored by the World Monuments Fund.

Colleoni’s wish was to have after his death (1475) a monument in St. Mark’s’ square, but the Republic would have never granted such honor to a single man.

A compromise was found; the Colleoni would have a wonderful monument but in front of the Scuola di San Marco, in the wide campo Santi Giovanni e Paolo.

The Senate commissioned the monument to maybe the best sculptorer in Italy, Andrea del Verrocchio from Florence. Due to the death of the artist, the equestrian monument was later cast in bronze by the Venetian Alessandro Leopardi (1481).

In his genre, the equestrian monument of Colleoni is a masterpiece. Verrocchio referred to the ancient monument of Marco Aurelio in Rome, to the Gattamelata by Donatello in Padova, to the Regisole in Pavia and created a daring composition, where the horse paces majestic on his three paws and the captain, with hard face, seems already concentrated in the battle.

 

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Doges and Dogaresse at the Doge’s Palace

Dogaressa

In the rooms where there was the apartment of the Doge, until June 30th you can see a selection of portraits of Doges and Dogaresse. If the Doge was the representative of the Venetian Republic, appointed for life by the Great Council, the Dogaressa, the wife of the Doge, not always enjoyed public tributes and honors. It usually depended on the personal wealth of the family.

Palazzo Ducale 4

Portrait of the Doge’s wife Elisabetta Querini Valier, end of the 17th century, unknown artist

Palazzo Ducale 8

Doge Sebastiano Venier, Andrea Vicentino, 1577

Through the lavishing rooms of the Palace, refurbished after a fire in the late 15th century, and still maintaining most of the original decoration, you meet men and women who were among the principal actors of the history of Venice.

Palazzo Ducale

Paintings show other important symbols of Venice’s past glory like battles, lions, geographic maps.

Palazzo Ducale 9

Finally, a painting of the 19th century reminds the abdication in 1797 of the last Doge, Ludovico Manin, before the French army of Napoleon entered the city.

Abdicazione Manin

The Deposition of Doge Manin, 19th-century unknown artist.

Many hundred years of history, worth to be known.

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Ville in Italia about Slow Venice

I’m pleased to share an article on Venice Carnival by the blog of Ville in Italia, one of the best known companies specialized (and leader) in the selection of luxury villas for vacations in Italy for more than 20 years. Ville in Italia considers Slow Tours of Venice a good occasion not to miss the “silent places and features” which are worth visiting.

Enjoy the read!  Venice Carnival

Photos: Venice Carnival yesterday….

Bergaigne Carnevale

Pierre Bergaigne (1652-1708), Carnival with Masked figures

Giacomo Franco, Carnevale, 1610

… and today… (photos by Norbert Heyl)

Photo by Norbert Heyl www.norbertheyl.com

Photo by Norbert Heyl www.norbertheyl.com

 

Photo by Norbert Heyl www.norbertheyl.com

Photo by Norbert Heyl www.norbertheyl.com

Photo by Norbert Heyl www.norbertheyl.com

Photo by Norbert Heyl www.norbertheyl.com

 

 

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The Church of San Salvador: a Mirror of the rich 16th century Venetian Society.

Trasfigurazione Tiziano

In this church strategically located between Rialto and San Marco you can admire two late masterpieces by Titian. 

Titian painted the Transfiguration as well as the Annunciation for San Salvador in the 1560ies when he was over 70 years old and the world of his youth had deeply changed. Catholics and Protestants were fighting devastating wars in many areas of Europe. 

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Ca’ Mocenigo: 18th century Interiors, Costumes and the History of Perfume

Ca' Mocenigo4

If you want to indulge in your interest in the 18th-century Venetian lifestyle, the museum of Ca’ Mocenigo is one of the most appropriate places where to go.
The museum (housing also the Centre of Studies on the History of Textiles and Costumes) is located on the noble floor of palazzo Mocenigo at San Stae.

Strolling through the rooms you can sense the pleasure for material beauty, which characterizes the culture of a people who traded for centuries with luxury goods: carved and gilded furniture, Murano chandeliers, and appliques, velvet fabrics, Burano laces, and table cloaks, frescoes and paintings. Most of the artworks and objects were purchased by the Mocenigo family and are original to the palace.

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A City of Images: Paintings in the Venetian House of the Renaissance

Mansueti

Giovanni Mansueti, The Miraculous Healing of the Daughter of ser Benvegnudo of San Polo, c. 1505, Accademia Gallery, Venice.

Deutscher Text am Ende

In her marvelous book about 16th century Venice interiors, Isabella Fossati Palumbo Casa made a thorough research in ancient inventories, bringing out a world of astonishing richness and color. No doubt that the level and quality of life in Venice, as the author states several times, were higher than anywhere else in Europe.

Paintings were to be found in every house, including those of the common people. Documents show two small butchers at the Ponte dell’Aseo owning 22 paintings, a merchant of cheese owning 25, and a shopkeeper in the Mercerie 13.

We also know of a plume-seller, of a boilermaker, of carpenters and boat builders who owned small paintings. Even in the humblest houses, you could find drawings or paintings on paper.

Subjects were usually religious, like the figure of a Saint to invoke for protection, lots of Madonnas (often in Greek style), and the Three Kings. Sometimes subjects were more exotic, showing, for example, a Turkish figure, man or woman, and there were many portraits of important people, like the Queen of Cyprus, Caterina Cornaro, or the one of a Pope or a Doge, that people would have to make their home more distinguishing.

Madonna degli Alberetti, 1487, Giovanni Bellini, Accademia Gallery, Venice.

More rarely, and usually in the richer houses, where people had more opportunities to travel, you could find geographic subjects, like cosmographies, landscapes of other cities or countries. There are anyway exceptions, like the case of a wool-worker owning four paintings about Africa, Asia, Europe, and Peru.

In the houses of the merchants and nobles, the number and the dimension of the paintings were larger, showing also a greater variety in the subjects.

It is easy to imagine that in a city where people were so devoted to art and images, there was a fertile ground that allowed artists like Bellini, Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto, or Veronese (to mention just a few of them) to develop their talent and creativity.

The book of Isabella Fossati Palumbo Casa is available at the moment in French and in Italian.

Carpaccio

Carpaccio, Birth of the Virgin Mary, 1508. Accademia Carrara, Bergamo.

Deutscher Text

In jedem venezianischen Haus waren Gemälde zu finden, auch in denen der einfachen Leute. Selbst in den bescheidensten Häusern konnte man Zeichnungen oder Gemälde auf Papier finden.
Die Motive waren normalerweise religiös, wie die Figur eines Heiligen, der zum Schutz herangezogen werden sollte, viele Madonnen (oft im griechischen Stil) und die Drei Könige. Manchmal waren die Motive exotischer und zeigten zum Beispiel eine türkische Figur, einen Mann oder eine Frau, und es gab viele Porträts wichtiger Personen
. In den reicheren Häusern, in denen die Menschen mehr Reisemöglichkeiten hatten, konnte man sogar geografische Themen wie Kosmografien, Landschaften anderer Städte oder Länder finden.

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Sacral Beauty in Venetian churches

 

Veronese Ester

San Sebastiano, The Coronation of Ester, Paolo Veronese

In spite of the confusion and the thousands of people in the narrow alleyways, there are still places where you can hide from crowds and noises: churches in Venice are a real oasis of peace and beauty.

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