It is lovely to be walking outdoors all day during wintertime, and not to feel cold at all….
Warm and snuggled in our warm clothing, winter in Venice can offer so many joys…
A city without cars, without scooters and without bicycles, is a city after my own heart…
It is so lovely to see people WALK everywhere… And it is so quiet and calm.
I do know that it is not easy for those who live here, to live without car access.
Imagine if you bought some heavy furniture on the main land… How would you get them delivered?…
You’ll need to pay for a boat to take it to the Grand Canal, then transfer them to a smaller transport boat that could navigate the smaller canals until you reach the one closest to your home, then you’ll need to hire movers to bring them from the boat, possibly many alleyways down to your street, and up a few stories with no elevator…
Jules told me that he once saw a documentary about the emergency services in Venice.
If someone needed to be taken to a hospital on an emergency basis, they have a map of the city, on which they locate the nearest canal, and at times, the CPR crew has to run with the patient on a stretcher for many streets.
Still…. I LOVE a city with no cars or scooters.
We spent the day with the arts.
We paid a visit to the contemporary art collection of French billionaire François Pinault’s, held at the renovated “Punta Della Dogana.”
Pinault also owns the contemporary art collection that we visited two days ago, at Palazzo Grassi.
(He also owns Christie’s auction house, and many other businesses.)
Punta Della Dogana museum, is a 17th-century old customs house, located across the Grand Canal, which was renovated in collaboration with Japanese modern architect Ando.
The contemporary art collection was striking and thought provoking.
Among others works, it houses one the the world’s first installation, (before installations became so popular,) called “Roxy’s,” which was created in the 1940’s.
It is a recreation of a brothel in the US, complete with carpets, sofas, wall papers, ashtrays and music jukebox, and it touches upon our society’s obsession with sex, women’s bodies as objects, abuse and racism.
In this museum, most of the collection exhibited right now, included great sculptures and installations, and a bit less paintings.
It was truly enjoyable to see the art there.
We left to see another very different art collection, this time in the The Galleria dell’ Accademia (Venice Academy).
We first stopped at a small cafe, for cappuccinos and for some fresh blood-red-orange juices
One of the thing I love about winter, is the availability of fresh tasty red oranges and grapefruits.
The Galleria dell’Accademia is a great museum, hosting masterpieces depicting the history of Venice, as well as religious paintings, all done in a very realistic rendition.
The scale and details of the paintings, and the realism of the muscles, expressions, clothing and movements, were breathtaking.
A visit to the Accademia, is a great opportunity to see and enjoy some famous Venetian artists, like Tintoretto and Titian.
Their work can also be seen in many murals in the churches of Venice.
After many hours of admiring great art, I noticed that the sun had disappeared and an inky colored sky full of stars, indicated that it was time for….. Dinner.
We made reservations in a tiny osteria, named Alle Testiere.
The room had only a few small tables, and they were all full with diners.
The menu was small, featuring only fresh seafood.
We had two appetizers of scallops on half shell, with red orange and red onion, and spider crab with lemon.
Then we had a course of pasta, with black olives and herbs, followed by fresh fish and prawns.
For dessert, we had two heavenly dishes, a chestnuts cream caramel, and a tart and yummy lemon pie.
The food was so good, that we decided to visit the place again, and try more dishes on another night…. But on the other hand…. There are SO many wonderful small places to eat at…. And we do like to try new places.
At the end of the day, after a warm shower, I put on my bathrobe and reflected about the art that we saw today…
Jules asked me which kind of art did I enjoy MORE…. The contemporary or the Baroque and Renaissance realistic art…
I enjoyed both very much, and in very different ways….
The contemporary art has a relevant message to our times…. but many times it has no aesthetics and lasting values…. And the message does NOT stay relevant as time progress.
Even the Roxy’s installation that I mentioned above, has not kept its impact.
Standing in front of it while listening to the soft nostalgic music, I observed that it may have been shocking AT THE TIMES…. (in the 1940’s)….but…..Now,…… it looks like a charming room with period furniture and a warm atmosphere.
The wooden wounded dolls, that were meant to represent abuse, racism and objectification, all look like pieces of antique wooden dolls, that did not survive the times kindly…. And they look like part of the charm of the olden days….
On the other hand, the Baroque and Renaissance paintings of the biblical scenes, have very little relevance to our times, but many of them were striking in technique and the artist’s play with light and brush skills, were astounding.
I did notice that ALL of the religious paintings, depicted either Jesus on the cross, or Jesus as a baby, in the arms of his Mother Mary,…….not a SINGLE painting showed the resurrection.
It is as if His whole purpose here on earth, were misunderstood….
He came to demonstrate and to explain…… that there IS NO DEATH.
And His story does NOT END on the cross….
After three days of being buried in the tomb, behind a huge stone that blocked the opening, he was alive and was able to walk through the stone.
The whole story was to demonstrate that LIFE IS ETERNAL and that death, is nothing but an illusion…..
If you end his story on the cross, you miss the whole POINT of the story…
It would be like reading the “Ugly Duckling,” without understanding that in the end, he found out that he was not an ugly black swan, living among beautiful white swans, but a beautiful black duck, that was lost at birth and adopted by the swans, who raised him as their own…..
The black duck was always a beautiful black duck…. He just compared himself to the wrong group….
Art has evolved with the times.
Hundreds of years ago, when photography was yet to be discovered, realistic art served a very valuable purpose of keeping record of historical facts and details.
Art keeps on evolving to serve the minds and hearts of the people that will occupy our planet in thousands of years to come…. And beyond.
Art after all……..is not only about craftsmanship nor is it about aesthetics nowadays….
It is also not only about concepts and evoking thoughts….
It is an expression of the human soul…. And it takes many forms and expresses many concepts…. As many as there are artists around the world….