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grand canal and side street

It was cloudy on Wednesday morning (the pic you see was taken on Tues), so I decided to go to the Accademia. Hint - go early and avoid line-ups. I was there at 9:30, before the throng of day's arrivals (by the time I left there was a long queue outside the door).

This was not one of the more memorable art museums I have been to - although to be fair it suffered from the fact that it's under restoration and many of the rooms were closed, including, apparently, those containing Da Vinci and Botticelli. However, I have become a Bellini fan (no - not the drink, I haven't tried that yet). His works glowed with amazing light. I also loved the Tintoretto of God creating the animals (was that a unicorn in the top right?), which reminded me of Blake, or maybe Blake was influenced by Tintoretto... In most of these works, I love the small details in the background: dogs doing doggy things, or little people who look like someone's friend, maybe artist in-jokes, hanging out, watching the big proceedings in the foreground. There was a very cool painting with big heavenly characters at the top and St Mark's square in detail at the bottom - nice to know that not much has changed, as there were jugglers and merchants and people just hanging out then, too. There was a Madonna and child that I found strangely moving because the baby was in the traditional position of the pieta on Mary's lap and you get the sense that the whole life and death of Christ is there. Luckily I didn't need most of the interpretive comments on the museum handout, which were Made of Fail! I don't care whether so-and-so made this painting as a commission to some wealthy other so and so, or whether it used to be part of some altar piece in some church I've never heard of. What I want to know is who that woman is sitting on the monster with five or six heads and why she's vomiting blood (the handout says she's the Great Whore, but, srsly, wtf?). Also, medievalists, what's this about a gang of red cherubs on one side of a painting and a gang of blue ones on the other?

Although I could happily ride up and down on the #1 Vaporetto route all day, looking at views such as the one in today's pic, I decided to go out to Murano, which is where the glass factories are, but is also a nice, fairly quiet place to wander around. I fulfilled my desire to buy myself a really beautiful set of wine glasses and now need officially to Stop Spending Money, but can't wait to see them in Canada (they're being shipped). I also bought a few small gifty things and had a wonderful late lunch at the side of a canal. I then caught the Vaporetto home again, and tried, without success, to find some wifi. I miss being able to look things up instantly, or to write quick blog comments, but in some ways this forced absence from the Web is probably a Good Thing, contributing to my enormous sense of freedom and relaxation.

My feet were hurting from walking so much, and I probably walk twice as far because I keep getting lost (this is not so much a complaint as an observation - Venice is exceedingly maze-like), but they are better and I am getting more oriented and have a better sense of what is where, at least. I wish I spoke Italian. It's strange - I so nearly can, because so much of it is familiar from years of Latin and bits of French. I can understand a lot of what I read, but when I try to speak it comes out in a curious mishmash.

Seeing as this is actually posted on Thursday, I'll update enough to say that it was a blazingly beautiful day, and I went to Burano and Torcello. This is a wonderful summer holiday OMGV!! Stay tuned.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 18th, 2009 03:12 pm (UTC)
Blue and red cherubs: distinguishing between cherubims (blue) and seraphims (red) in the hierarchy of heavenly angels, and showing you that the *most* important angels were there for that event.

Great Whore of Babylon: Yep, that's her. I can understand why the handout went on about the socio-cultural baggage contemporary to its production (since that'll mostly be "Yay, Venice and its powerful patrons and amazing artists", as opposed to quoting the Bible at length for you.)
Jun. 19th, 2009 12:14 am (UTC)
Whoa, another reason the bible should be rated R.
Jun. 20th, 2009 08:48 am (UTC)
aha - interesting! I wished I could have taken a photograph of that painting, as it so clearly depicted the hierarchy.
Jun. 18th, 2009 03:34 pm (UTC)
*loving this*
Jun. 18th, 2009 04:07 pm (UTC)
I'm really enjoying this holiday you're having. Keep the pictures coming. :)
Jun. 18th, 2009 11:23 pm (UTC)
I have to say I'm enjoying the mental image of Field Day In Heaven: all the choirs of angels lined up in their team colors, rooting each other on for the three-legged race and the egg relay and so on.
Jun. 19th, 2009 12:14 am (UTC)
Lovely, lovely.
Jan. 11th, 2011 01:21 pm (UTC)

I begin on internet with a directory
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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