Venice Architects and Stonemasons

Some famous architectures built by Lombard and Swiss architects.
Foto credits: Bridge of Sighs, Palazzo X Savi, San Zaccaria and Scalzi: D. Descouens, Wikipedia

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Venice was one of the most international and vibrant capitals in ancient Europe. Many craftspeople and artists were attracted by the wealth that was invested to build new churches and palaces and embellish them with artworks, sculptures, funeral monuments, wooden ceilings, and fabrics of any sort.

Who built among the most extraordinary architectures of Venice?

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The Treasures of the Doge – A new Itinerary in the Doge’s Palace

Doge's Palace

Giant’s Staircase, courtyard of the Doge’s Palace.

The Doge’s Palace of Venice is a shrine with lavishing gilt ceilings, great masterpieces by Veronese and Tiepolo, and hundreds of years of history visible on its many paintings but now there is a new reason to visit it.

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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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15th Century Fashion in the Paintings at the Accademia Gallery

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Masters of the late 15th – early 16th century like Gentile Bellini, Carpaccio, Mansueti were intrigued by the Islamic world.
Venetian and a constant and contradictory relationship with Ottomans, Mamlukes, and Arab people. 
Many Venetians used to live years in the Islamic countries and when they came back they brought with them souvenirs, exotic objects, and lots of stories. Probably also some drawings. Moreover, Islamic traders were present in Venice so that for artists it was quite interesting to represent their fashion. 

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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.

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

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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.

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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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Do you bead? Glass-beads maker Muriel Balensi

Muriel Balensi

Muriel Ba

¿Do you bead?, a group of glass-beads makers and jewel designers, organizes a series of workshops and events on the making and the history of glass beads See their story and events calendar here:http://www.doyoubead.com/
In the photos see Muriel Balensi, French glass-beads maker, who lives in Venice, in the atelier she has together with her friend Dominique Brunet in San Barnaba.

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A fashion-music-dance show will take place on May 23rd at the Magazzini del Sale; with percussionist Francesco Tomasutti, the dance performance of Federico Casali, the music of Andrea Mattarucco, the wearable sculptures of Olga Rostrosta and the Haute-Couture Glass Jewelry of the ¿Do you Bead? group.

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Marbled Paper: top quality only until May 2013

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Artisans spend their time on improving their techniques, finding new patterns, inventing variations on the things they produce. When you look at them, they are totally immersed in what they are doing. But in Venice, once the home of some among the most magnificent craftspeople in Europe, they are all disappearing.

The very high rents for workshops and a crazy bureaucracy are forcing many small shops and especially craftspeople to close down (including one of the most important bookshops, not able to pay any longer 9000 euros a month). Artisans are notoriously no managers or lawyers, they can’t keep the pace with the constantly changing administrative requests, neither with the very high taxation. Not to talk of the problems of maintaining a workshop in Venice: acqua alta, humidity, water infiltrations, bricks falling apart.

Can tourists help these precious activities to survive? Yes, they can.

If you visit Venice, please be more selective when you buy souvenirs. It is better to buy some handmade bookmarks for 3 euros each instead of a peace of glass made industrially and of poor quality for 20 euros.

It is better to go and discover the small workshops out of the centre, where things are still handmade with passion and dedication, instead of buying the usual industrial stuff in shops that belong to chains.

Stefano Casati, who produces hand-printed paper, leather and velvet will close his workshop toward the end of May 2013. The colors he uses are unique; he is rather an artist than an artisan. If you are in Venice don’t miss him! If you have friends in Venice, tell them to go and buy their Christmas presents there.

You can find his workshop in Barbaria delle Tole 6676 (close to campo Santi Giovanni e Paolo).

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Venetian Fortresses in the Mediterannean

03 Map of the city of Canea (Chania) on Crete. 16th century, ink and watercolor drawing on parchment.

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This small exhibition curated by the director of the Doge’s Palace, Camillo Tonini, and by Diana Cristante, offers the extraordinary privilege to see original drawings on parchment and on paper made between the 16th and the 18th century of Venetian fortresses in the Mediterranean area.

Venice, besides being an extraordinarily wealthy and glamorous city, was also political and military power. The preservation of important outposts in the Mediterranean sea secured the routes of commercial convoys heading toward Alexandria in Egypt, to Constantinople, Cyprus, Haifa, and many other destinations.

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