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

DSC01755

If someone was thinking that the Doge’s Palace of Venice with its lavishing gilt ceilings, its great masterpieces by Veronese and Tiepolo and hundreds of years of history visible on its many paintings was not attractive enough, now there is a new reason to visit it.

Doge's Palace

Giant’s Staircase

Continue reading

Share

Movies in Venice

Summertime55There are movies that made out of Venice a real icon.

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

Find here some of the most famous scenes.

Continue reading

Share

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.

 

Share

Doges and Dogaresse at the Doge’s Palace

Dogaressa

In the rooms which constituted 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

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

At the end, 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.

 

Share

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

 

 

Share

Do you bead? Glass-beads maker Muriel Balensi

Muriel Balensi

Muriel Balensi

¿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.

IMG_0291 IMG_0290 IMG_0293 IMG_0116

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.

Share

Marbled Paper: top quality only until May 2013

SONY DSC

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).

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC

 

 

Share

Venetian Fortresses in the Mediterannean

03

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

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.

As many people know, Venice, beside being an extraordinary wealthy and glamorous city, was also a 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 others destinations.

Gradually Venice enlarged its possessions in the Eagean and Ionian sea; still today the time of the Venetian ruling is called in Greek Venetokratia.

The officers sent by the Republic to administrate these territories, the provveditori, were also in charge of their military defense. If in the 14th century Venice fought above all against Genoa, from the 15th century onward immense monetary and human resources were sacrified in the wars against the Ottomans.

Because of this constant state of war and the development of new weapons, Venice steadily modernised and improved its fortresses in the Mediterranean. The provveditori would send exact drawings and maps of their territories to Venice where all decisions about the necessary interventions were taken.

Continue reading

Share

Venetian Ceilings – Renaissance, Rococo and Art Noveau

 

Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti

Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti

The interiors of the Venetian palaces are usually in late Rococo style, as to say of the second half of the 18th century. This is due to the fact that Venice was a wealthy city for many hundred years and the families enjoyed renewing the interiors – frescoes, plaster-work, paintings – according to the latest trends. They never felt less important than their ancestors, so they didn’t hesitate to change the older ornamentation.

The only exception is Palazzo Grimani in Santa Maria Formosa. The Patriarch Giovanni Grimani who enlarged in the 16th century this lavish palace in Roman Renaissance style was to become such a prestigious figure in Venetian history that his descendants left some of the many rooms with the original decoration.

In the late 19th century the properties had changed completely. Palaces were sold several times and the owners – Venetians, Italians or foreigners alike – took away whatever they could, from doors to paintings and frescoes, and they tried even to detach the plaster-work from the ceilings.

Some buildings were carefully preserved, like for example Palazzo Barbaro, some other ones were restored almost to their previous beauty, when owners could afford to buy in the auctions furniture and other objects in late 18th century style.

Some of the palaces were refurbished in the style of the time, that today we call Art Nouveau, of which Palazzo Franchetti Cavalli is one of the best example.

See below some ceilings of various palaces in Venice.

Palazzo Pisani2 Palazzo Pisani5 Palazzo Pisani4 Palazzo Pisani3 Palazzo Pisani1 Palazzo Pisani

Music Room Ospedaletto

Music Room Ospedaletto

Ospedaletto Palazzo Grimani Palazzo Grimani Palazzo Grimani

Share