Friday, 1 November 2013

What we saw

We did what we usually do in Venice, a lot of pleasurable and aimless wandering and a little specific viewing of favourite places and new events. We wandered over the wooden bridge to look at the collection of Venetian paintings in the Accademia.

And then along to Ca'Rezzonica to admire the Longhi paintings. It is the museum of the Venetian 18th century, housed in a handsome Baroque building with a beautiful ballroom, decorated ceilings and windows facing the Grand Canal. It's easy to imagine the life of the Rezzonica family living there in style in the eighteenth century.
From there we walked back over the bridge to look at a small temporary exhibition of African art
which was almost overshadowed by the beauty of the room in which it was displayed.


I like to see art in intimate, personal places and for this reason the Peggy Guggenheim Gallery is one of my favourite galleries in Venice.
What makes it so good is that it is art collected by one person, showing her area of interest and enthusiasm and in many cases still hung in the same position in her former home. I do wish that they had kept some furniture in place and a few plants to give the feeling that she had only just left the room.

There were such delicious things to see
enjoyable even for a woman on painkillers with an aching back and a thumping headache!
In the courtyard leading to the Grand Canal there is a Marini sculpture that always makes me smile.
 It causes many different  reactions in people that are as amusing as the sculpture itself!
Well, really!
We had the added bonus of seeing a temporary exhibition of fin de-Siecle Parisian avant-garde's paintings, drawings and prints - a real treat!
Lovely Vallotton prints
and other delights.
In 1867 the American consul in Venice, Dean Howells, described the month of October as,
 "the month of the Sunsets and of the English....  the party which fills the gondola with well-cushioned English middle age, ruddy English youth and substantial England baggage. We have learnt to know them all very well: the father and the mother sit upon the back seat, and their comely girls at the sides and the front. These girls have the honest cabbage-roses of English health upon their cheeks; they all wear little dowdy English hats, and invariable waterfalls of hair tumbling upon their broad English backs...."

'Dowdy little hats' - the cheek of the man! The well-cushioned parents and the comely girls are all now back in their respective homes, but we had a lovely time all together in Venice!



15 comments:

  1. I'd love to go to the Venice biennale one year but the crowds must be crazy!! It does seem you had some space there. Hope you're fully recuperated from the accident??

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    1. Although it was a Biennale year with masses of contemporary art all over the place we didn't visit any. Venice only seems really busy around the Rialto, San Marco and a few other tourist areas. When the day trippers leave it can feel very de-populated. I'm reading Michael Dibdin's 'Dead Lagoon' which describes the problems that locals have in managing to live in the city.
      I'm coming along nicely, thank you, with weekly physio to enable me to bend my neck properly and ease the pain in my shoulders and back. It's slowly, slowly!

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  2. All great, but why did you feel the need to pose against that sculpture to have your photo taken? I mean, really.

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    1. It's a joyful, life affirming sculpture, Tom, which is why I felt the need to pose against it - really.
      I had just taken a photo for a young man and he asked if we would like one as well.
      We were once at the gallery when a young American was holding forth in a very loud voice to a young woman. He was not knowledgeable but nevertheless very confident of his own opinions. We sat in the courtyard and waited to hear what he would say about the sculpture. He came down the steps making lots of noise, then.. silence! It makes me smile just to remember it!

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  3. The whole of Venice is a feast for the eyes. That certainly was a cheeky statue to pose with. Peggy Guggenheim must have been quite a gal.

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    1. I just love the place, Elaine.
      Peggy Guggenheim must, indeed, have been quite a gal. She stipulated that all her collection, about two hundred paintings and sculptures should never leave Venice.

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  4. Beautiful pictures. I like the Vallotton prints very much. I only noticed certain things on the sculpture when I scrolled back, I can imagine it would be fun seeing the reactions of others. I am guessing Dean Howells was not a fan of the English!

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    1. I agree, I don't think that Ambassador Howells was too impressed by the English - he had us pretty well pegged, however!

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  5. Haha... what a sculpture :o) :o). Lovely picture from Venice and from a completely different view as we didn't visit any galleries. Thanks for showing it.
    Have a lovely weekend
    Alex

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  6. Venice is first and for most for wandering, gawping and eating ice-creams!

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  7. I would love to see the Peggy Guggenheim museum. She championed many of my favorites.

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    1. Put it on the list, Steve! Some wonderful work, really covetable pieces - Himself wanted to walk away with a fabulous van Duisburg. We each had a favourite that we would like to have taken home - do you play that game?

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  8. Some day, I'll see this too. Enjoyed your photos. I could wander around there for days.

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  9. Hope you had a blast in Venice. I used to visit often when my husband was stationed there many years ago and like you, I love just getting lost in one of the many lanes and alleys.. I had one of the BEST gamberi soups in Venice but dang, can't remember the name of the restaurant anymore!

    GREETINGS FROM DUBAI
    MRS JACK OF ALL TRADES
    http://mrsjackofalltradesdaily.blogspot.ae/

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