Painters, power and propaganda

When one hears about state-sponsored visual propaganda and elaborate parades, designed to cultivate patriotic pride, it’s easy to think about 20th century dictatorial regimes. But no totalitarian genius, no minister of propaganda would’ve conceived of the splendor, the scale, the sheer audacity of the grand civic myth, fostered by the Venetian Republic at its time. One of the earliest and most ... VIEW THE POST >>

Old Venice: maritime might

On the underside of Basilica San Marco’s outer arch, a curious series of carvings are presented. At the first glance, they seem grim and muted, lost in the shadow of magnificence. This little example of medieval art constitutes a collection of scenes, surprisingly mundane for this place: ordinary activities of various Venetian craftsmen. Fisherman sits in the boat and dangles his line, while the ... VIEW THE POST >>

Old Venice: before “city of lovers”

What does the name of Venice conjure up in your mind? Gondolas, gliding softly in the mist; enigmatic ladies in crinolines and masks; the gayety and frivolity of Carnival. Passionate affairs. Glorious decadence. Dark mysteries of dagger and cloak. In short, all the images, that captivated European travellers for centuries. But, in fact, these images came into being only during the soft decline of ... VIEW THE POST >>